Local school board member participates in IASB platform development

Iowa Association of School Boards
6000 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312 www.ia-sb.org

For Immediate Release
Date: Nov. 20, 2013
Contacts:   Mary Gannon, IASB Attorney, mgannon@ia-sb.org, 1-800-795-4272 or 288-1991 x229, Tracy Bainter, Communications Director, tbainter@ia-sb.org, 1-800-795-4272 or 288-1991 x236

Local school board member participates in IASB platform development

Des Moines, Iowa – Over 325 school board members and school administrators gathered at the Iowa Association of School Boards’ Delegate Assembly on Nov. 20 to determine the platform for the 2014 legislative session. Brian Eddy, Board President, was the Independence School Board’s delegate to the IASB Delegate Assembly and participated in the development of the 2014 legislative platform.

IASB’s main goals are to create quality assessments statewide, ensured continued commitment to the Iowa Core, improve professional development and teaching methods and enhance resources and flexibility in order to give all students a quality education.

With overwhelming consensus, the voting school board representatives affirmed the following priorities for the upcoming session:

  1. Supports continued progress in the development of rigorous content standards and benchmarks consistent with the Iowa Core focused on improving student achievement, including the following state actions:
  • Provide and fund technical assistance to help school districts fully implement the Iowa Core.
  • Develop or obtain high-quality summative and formative assessments aligned to the skills students should know and be able to do to succeed globally and locally.
  • Include and fund all the components of successful standards systems: assessments aligned to high expectations, improved and aligned instruction and quality professional development.
  1. Supports continuation of sufficient incentives and assistance to encourage sharing, reorganization or regional high schools to expand academic learning opportunities for students and to improve student achievement. IASB supports expansion of sharing incentives to include special education, curriculum and other critical administrative positions. The incentives must be available to school districts regardless of the location of the sharing partner(s).
  2. Supports reform of Iowa’s k-12 education system that:
  • Is research-based;
  • Is focused on student achievement;
  • Includes comprehensive assessments to measure the full range and rigor of the Iowa Core;
  • Maintains oversight and control by locally elected school and AEA boards of directors;
  • Does not “repurpose” existing education funds; and
  • Does not impose new mandates unless they are fully funded.

13 Supports setting supplemental state aid (replaces the term allowable growth) by the date specified in the Iowa Code at a rate that encourages continuous school improvement and reflects actual cost increases experienced by school districts and AEAs. Our priority is to increase the state cost per pupil and the spending authority associated with it to build a strong base for future education resources.

  1. Supports the repeal of the mandatory school start date.

“After the last few years of little state funding and the lack of authority for additional funding options including property taxes, the state legislature needs to ensure public education is fully-financed and funded at a level that will support the school improvement measures needed by our students,” said Brian Eddy. “We also want the legislature to know how important accurate and rigorous assessments are to ensuring the full implementation of the Iowa Core.”

Education leaders also deliberated on other policy and funding issues critical to the success of students. In the local control arena, board members asked for greater flexibility in the process of getting their jobs done. Legislation should focus more on the outcomes of what they would like school boards to accomplish rather than prescribe how it should be done.

To see the entire list of beliefs, resolutions and legislative priorities for the 2014 legislative session, please visit the IASB Web site at www.ia-sb.org. The delegate assembly is part of IASB’s pre-convention activities. The annual convention was Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

IASB is a private, nonprofit organization representing Iowa’s 346 school districts, nine
area education agencies and 15 community colleges.