The Iowa Legislature recently passed a 2.3 percent increase to state supplemental aid, and Highland’s superintendent wishes that percentage was higher. Supplemental State Aid accommodates school districts money on a per student basis. Lone Tree and Highland Superintendent Ken Crawford oversees two smaller school districts and prides himself on being an advocate for small school districts. Crawford tells KCII News how a 2.3 percent increase doesn’t help smaller school districts like Highland, “If small schools in Iowa see enrollment decline, that’s usually the driving factor is the money from the state and your enrollment. When the state’s giving 2.3 percent more money to schools, that really doesn’t cover the costs of increasing insurance, the increase in electricity and water, all those kinds of things. You aren’t covering the costs of your district. We’ve always tried to be positive with our legislature and tried to push for three to four percent like they did back in the 1990s and early 2000s. We are not getting back there. While 2.3 is better than what they’ve done in the past couple of years, and with the revenues the state has had in the last two to three years, I know superintendents were hoping for a lot more than 2.3 percent.” Crawford says Lone Tree and Highland will have to step up their marketing to attract more students. He also suggests new voices around these smaller communities get in touch with legislators and representatives. Highland is currently focused on providing free meals to their students and families during the state recommended closure of schools.