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As students prepare to return to class, Priorities for Iowa is encouraging Iowans to do their homework on Patty Judge’s troubling record

As Iowa students and their parents prepare for back-to-school season, Priorities for Iowa is calling on Iowans to do their homework on Patty Judge’s record of failing Iowa pupils. An analysis of Patty Judge’s record while serving as Iowa Lt. Governor found that her administration raised tuition on Iowa students every year and slashed PreK-12 spending by $192 million.

In Patty Judge’s home community of Albia, Iowa, the local school district was hit hard by cuts under Judge’s watch.  Albia Community Schools Superintendent Kevin Crall didn’t mince words regarding the disastrous budget cut to PreK-12 education. Crall said at the time, “The funding amount that will be cut for the Albia Community School District is $541,853, which takes place immediately. The impact of this loss of revenue for the District is huge, as the budget for this year has already been established and employee contracts agreed upon.”


While Patty Judge was Lt. Governor, tuition for resident undergraduate students was raised at Iowa’s Regent universities by:

  • 5.2 percent in the 2007-2008 school year,
  • 3.2 percent in the 2008-2009 school year,
  • 4.2 percent in the 2009-2010 school year, and
  • 6 percent for the 2010-2011 school year.
  • During that same period, from 2007-2011, tuition was also raised for non-resident students.

Under Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, tuition at Iowa’s Regent universities was hiked every year. Even worse, under the failed leadership of the Judge administration preK-12 education funding was slashed by $192 million in Fiscal Year 2010 alone,” said Priorities for Iowa executive director Jimmy Centers. “When Iowans do their homework on Patty Judge, they’ll soon learn that her record of gutting education funding and raising tuition resulted in a financial burden for students and their families.”

In October 2009, the Judge administration announced cuts that resulted in $192 million being slashed from PreK-12 education in the middle of the fiscal year forcing local school districts into financial hardships. A spreadsheet from the Iowa Department of Management during the Judge administration showed just how much each school district lost. It can be found here.

Some examples of the hardships local communities faced included the following:

  • “Many Iowa school districts will be forced to raise property taxes […] because their rainy-day funds are too depleted to absorb his 10 percent across-the-board budget cut, education leaders say.” – Des Moines Register
  • “Although the official district numbers are not here yet, we expect the reduction of our FY10 budget will be in the range of $5.4-6 million.” – Waterloo Community School District
  • “’We were thinking maybe the cuts would be half as much as they were,’ Lewis Central Superintendent Mark Schweer said. ‘Unfortunately, 70 to 80 percent of the budget is tied up in salaries and benefits, so it’s hard to make up the difference. And we still have to buy gas for the buses and pay our utility bills.’” – Council Bluffs Nonpareil
  • Newton Community School District loses $1,527,733 in funding – Newton Independent and Iowa State Board of Education
  • Atlantic Community School District lost $687,000 in funding due to the troubling education funding cut. – Council Bluffs Nonpareil
  • “The 10% across the board cut will reduce the Central City Community School’s state aid revenues by approximately $216,855 for this current year.” – Central City Community Schools
  • “Iowa Department of Management issued a report for schools showing the impact by District. For Bondurant-Farrar, this means a loss of $550,256. Teacher Quality, Statewide Voluntary Preschool, etc. are included in the cut.” – Bondurant-Farrar School Newsletter
  • “That 10% cut amounts to $248,479 for the Martensdale-St. Marys Community School District.” – Martensdale-St. Marys Community School District Newsletter
  • Underwood Community Schools saw their budget slashed by $343,000. – Council Bluffs Nonpareil
  • After Linn-Mar saw a cut of $2,965,957, Linn-Mar School-Board President Ann Stark said, “To cut that much money from the budget during the same year presents quite a challenge.” – Linn-Mar Community School District newsletter
  • $315,000 was yanked from Riverside Community School District – Council Bluffs Nonpareil
  • “Business manager Jeff Dieleman updated board members on the district’s fiscal status this week. He says they will have a positive spending authority. He says the cash balance would’ve been in the black as well, but the governor’s 10-percent across the board cut forced them to spend more local dollars.” – KCII
  • Shenandoah Community Schools were out $468,000 from the drastic cuts – Council Bluffs Nonpareil


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