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Priorities approved for legislative session

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. 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:

3. 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.

7. 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).

11. 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.

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

“With all the improvements we’ve made to education over the past few years, we need to ensure we are accurately and rigorously measuring what we’re teaching and our students are learning,” stated Jeff Anderson, Boone board member and IASB President-Elect/Chair of the Legislative Resolutions Committee. 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 took place Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

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