Overview of SFY24 Appropriation Request

Appropriation Request Figures At A Glance

Category Amount
SFY23 Appropriation $2,893,503
Part 1: Cost of Living and Personnel Costs $71,121
Part 2: IMC Personnel $305,000
Part 3: Collection Development (non-consumable accessible educational materials) $182,103
Part 4: Support for Consumable Accessible Materials Production $231,768
Total Requested Increase $789,993
Total Requested SFY24 General Fund Appropriation $368,3496
Requested One-Time Capitol Improvement Funding $232,000
SFY23 FTE Allotment 88.98
Requested FTE Allotment 88.98

Appropriation Request Overview

IDB is requesting an appropriation increase consisting of 4 parts. The first part is to cover increasing personnel costs. The other three parts of our request are designed to support the creation of a statewide accessible educational materials (AEM) system that would ensure the efficiency, equity, and accountability that is now lacking in this area.

Part 1: Merit Based Increases and COLA

Over the past six years, IDB has transformed our agency to meet the changing needs of the 21st century and continue to actively iterate and adapt to changes in work, technology, and best practices. We have automated tasks, leveraged technology to improve efficiency, and re-distributed our greatest asset – our highly trained and skilled staff. We have moved positions to areas of greatest need to provide the most impact for those we serve. We have put more blindness professionals into the field across the state. At the ground level, we have taken care to discover where people’s greatest skills and talents were being underutilized and we helped them to move them to positions where they can thrive. We have recruited talented professionals from across the country because they believe in our mission and share our values. We have found Iowans with a passion for teaching and a drive to make the world a better place and we have invested thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in training these individuals in structured discovery methodology, library science, professional communication, and leadership. This considerable investment of time and money is paying off on more and better services being delivered to blind Iowans which is in turn paying off in better outcomes for those we serve.

It is important that we protect this investment in our human capital by ensuring that those who meet and exceed our high expectations receive merit-based increases. To this end, we anticipate an increase in payroll costs. Based on our effective non-Federal share across all programs, we need an increase in our state appropriation of $71,121 to cover this cost.

Part 2: Instructional Materials Center Personnel

Instructional Materials Center (IMC) staff transcribe materials, place projects, track progress, manage volunteers, answer questions from teachers and paras, ship materials, and prepare invoices. These hard working and highly knowledgeable staff coordinate the production of hundreds of projects each year. They work with 42 national vendors and volunteers to place materials, Provide quality control, and excellent customer service. If we do not receive funding for part 2 of this request, we will need to fold these costs into the costs of materials. This would increase the financial burden on the districts. As we have already seen orders canceled because districts lack funding to pay for materials, we are concerned that increasing prices would lead to more students going without braille materials or receiving materials that are not being produced in alignment with commonly accepted braille production standards.

Part 3: Library Collection Development

We are asking for $182103 to produce educational materials that can be ordered by districts for students in the 2023–24 school year and added to our library collection. Our collection currently contains approximately 200,000 titles and these materials are free to be borrowed by any student in Iowa who needs them. This amount is based on our SFY22 actual spending in this category. Adding textbooks to our collection is far more cost effective than using taxpayer money to reproduce materials each time a student needs them.

Part 4: Support for Production of Consumable Accessible Educational Materials

We are asking for $231,768 for the production of braille and large print worksheets, handouts, tactiles, and other consumable materials for K–12 students. This amount is based on our SFY22 spending in this category. This support would help blind and low vision students receive high quality materials regardless of the school district’s ability to afford the production costs, ensuring that students in rural or less affluent districts have the same access to a free and appropriate public education as their sighted classmates and blind students in other parts of the state.

Capitol Request

We are requesting a capital appropriation of $232,000 to complete several large long-term maintenance projects.
We are asking for $75,000 to complete the tuck pointing for exterior brick walls that we are beginning in SFY23. The exterior of our building requires walls where tuck pointing is needed to prevent face brick and cornices from falling.

We are asking for $157,000 to complete our roof replacements. The age of this roof is such that it has begun to leak, and these repairs will eliminate leaks that have appeared in various parts of the building in recent years during and after heavy rains. While we have prioritized the oldest and most warn sections for replacement in SFY23, other sections also require replacement to prevent leaks that would cause damage to equipment and our nationally recognized braille collection. The remaining sections of the roof needing replacement include: the 5th floor East AHU–4 roof, the 5th floor North APUH–3 roof, and the 4th floor East AHU–2 roof.

For More Information

To learn more about IDB programs and services visit our website: https://blind.iowa.gov
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IowaBlind
Visit our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/IDBonline
To apply for vocational rehabilitation or independent living services: Complete our referral form
or call (515) 901–8621
To apply for library services, call 515–281–1323
For more information about library services, visit these links:
Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled Blog: https://iowalibrary.blog/
Instructional Materials Center Blog: https://idbimclibrary.blog/