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.