2019-2020 Legislative Priorities
At the August 12, 2019, board meeting Dr. Pattee and the Board reviewed the proposed list of Legislative priorities as developed by the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) for the 2019 Iowa Legislative session and approved the following priorities.
Supports continued funding to ensure that all 4-year-olds have access to the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program.
Supports an increase in funding from the current weighting of 0.5 to 1.0 full-time equivalent to increase the ability of districts to provide services such as full-day programming and transportation to ensure that all 4-year-olds have the ability to attend the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program. Districts should be given maximum flexibility to assign costs to the program.
7) MENTAL HEALTH
Supports efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health systems to offer preventative and treatment services and comprehensive school mental health programs that include in-school access for students to mental health professionals and provisions for reimbursement by Medicaid and private insurers. Supports additional ongoing teacher, administrator, and support staff training to improve the awareness and understanding of child emotional and mental health needs. Supports incentives for workforce development for mental health professionals in schools.
20) SUPPLEMENTAL STATE AID
Supports setting supplemental state aid:
For FY 2020, by January 31, 2019;
For FY 2021 and future budget years, at least 14 months prior to the certification of the school's district budgets; and at a rate that sufficiently supports local districts' efforts to plan, create and sustain world-class schools. Setting supplemental state aid within the statutory requirements allows districts to make sound financial decisions on programs, staffing levels, and providing the best possible education to all students. IASB supports a formula driven method for establishing the supplemental state aid growth rate if it is not set within the statutory requirements.
29) EXPANDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Supports providing the flexibility to expand educational opportunities and choices for students and families. Educational options must remain under the sole authority of locally elected school boards charged with representing community interests and accountability. IASB supports efforts including:
• Investment in magnet and innovation schools; expansion in flexible program offerings; and greater partnerships among schools and community organizations
• Establishment of charter schools;
• Establishment or use of on-line schools or classes.
Supports opportunities for continued collaboration between public and non-public schools; however, the association opposes the use of additional taxpayer funds for the creation of vouchers or educational savings accounts or an increase in tax credits or deductions directed toward nonpublic schools.