Education News

Three key differences between the candidates in Iowa’s race for governor that matter to educators

By Amanda Litvinov

Iowa’s race for governor has been named one of “2018’s 5 Biggest Governors Races” by U.S. News and World Report. The outcome couldn’t be more critical for the state’s educators and students.

Retired businessman Fred Hubbell and running mate Rita Hart–a former educator and Iowa State Education Association member–have pledged to restore education funding and workers’ rights, both of which have suffered during Reynolds’ tenure. Gov. Reynolds, meanwhile, stands by every anti-public education, anti-worker policy passed during her administration and her predecessor’s.

The difference between the candidates on these three issues alone make it clear why Fred Hubbell earned the recommendation of the Iowa State Education Association, which represents more than 30,000 teachers statewide:

1. Gov. Reynolds says the state puts plenty into education funding, despite educators’ pleas for more resources. Fred Hubbell believes Iowa must invest more in its public schools.

Reynolds slashed $11.5 million from the state’s universities and community colleges in March to balance the state budget, and has defended those cuts. She has signed off on measly increases to K-12 education funding that aren’t keeping up with actual needs, leading to larger class sizes in some grades.

Fred Hubbell hears educators’ concerns that some schools lack the resources to keep appropriate class sizes and meet the needs of all students. “That’s one of my top priorities as governor is to start to really fund our education system again,” Hubbell said during his Invest in Education tour this spring.

2. Hubbell opposes Gov. Reynolds’ signature tax giveaways for big corporations.

Fred Hubbell knows that exorbitant corporate tax breaks and incentives eventually deplete funding for public education and health care. On his campaign site, Hubbell explains: “Gov. Reynolds repeatedly has made shortsighted and bad economic deals, like the Apple deal that gave away $20 million in state incentives for just 50 permanent jobs – that’s $400,000 per job. These types of tax giveaways have been a contributing factor to Iowa’s financial woes, news that is especially troubling as the state continues to tighten its belt with underfunding and severe cuts to health care and education.”

3. Gov. Reynolds defends the destruction of collective bargaining rights for educators and all public employees. Fred Hubbell has pledged to restore and expand collective bargaining if elected.

A former union member, Fred Hubbell believes in the value of workers joining together in strong unions. Hubble supports restoring public employee collective bargaining rights and maintaining the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). In fact, Hubbell said during an interview with Iowa Public Radio that the 2017 legislative session—when state lawmakers stripped public employees of their collective bargaining rights and again grossly underfunded education—was the reason he decided to run for governor.

Gov. Reynolds supported the controversial law as Lieutenant Governor, and has vigorously defended it since.

6 responses to “Three key differences between the candidates in Iowa’s race for governor that matter to educators

  1. Education is a cornerstone of society. Not just in Iowa, but the whole nation. The teaching profession has taken a back seat for many years and is now being moved back to the third row seat. In the last 40 years or so, the required duties have been increased to the point that the time to teach has been reduced.

    Each state needs to ensure a quality education for their children. Parents need to send their children to school ready to learn. Our children are the future. Politics are robbing our children and it is time to do the right thing for the right reason. Get politics OUT OF EDUCATION and get back to providing the tools our students need to be productive citizens in our society now and in the future.

    Good schools are one of the many keys that unlock the potential of our children and will brighten the future. Schools need students, parents, community members, and educators to be successful.

    Support education as it is vital to our society.

    1. Teachers influence the future of this nation and generations to come. It is critical that our educational system be a top priority in elections across this global economy. No bipartisan here if together we focus on the children, their education and rearing our future citizens—it will strengthen society’s infrastructure…changing the world one child at a time.

  2. Republicans have been underfunding (under-investing!!) IA. Public Schools for years! They pretend to have education as a priority; that’s a farce! As an Iowa educator and school leader for decades, they are responsible for what many consider to be legislation that could ultimately be entitled, “The Iowa Schools Consolidation Act”! Their efforts have forced rural schools in all parts of Iowa to put kids/students on buses, to close down school buildings and to increase elem. class sizes to unmanageable levels!!! If as Iowans we truly have as a goal to fund our schools to meet FutureIowa goals and support our kids, educators and schools, then “we” must vote for DEMOCRATS running for office in these upcoming mid-terms.

  3. Any educator or public employee who votes for Reynolds is cutting off their own nose to spite their face. Schools have been struggling for the past 10 years thanks to the Republicans. And why attempt to rob IPERS? It’s money that employees paid in out of their own pocket. The state contributes nothing, so they have no right to that money. Privatizing only opens things up to corruption and loss of money for employees.

    1. These are issues which REALLY need much more public exposure. They could be presented as issues rather than as an advocacy of a candidate.

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