2017 IASB Legislative Resolutions

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

1. RESEARCH-BASED INITIATIVES

Supports implementation of initiatives in Iowa’s K-12 education system that:

  • Are research-based;

  • Are focused on student achievement, and;

  • Do not “re-purpose” existing education funds.

2. STANDARDS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Supports continued progress in the development of rigorous content standards and benchmarks that reflect the real-world knowledge and skills students need to graduate from high school prepared for college or to enter the workforce, including the following state actions:

  • Provide and fund technical assistance to help school districts fully implement the Iowa Core Content Standards which define what students should know and be able to do in math, science, English language arts, social studies, and 21st Century skills in areas such as financial and technological literacy.

  • Adopt high-quality summative and formative assessments, aligned to the skills students should know and be able to do to succeed globally and locally.

  • Support research-based professional development that provides educators with training, support and time to work together so that they can successfully teach a rigorous curriculum to all students. Ensure that curriculum decisions about how to teach remain in the hands of local schools and teachers.

  • Include and fund all the components of successful standards systems: assessments aligned to high expectations, improved and aligned instruction and quality professional development.

IASB supports development of model content standards, recommended assessments and professional development supports in additional content areas but opposes expanding accountability, reporting and accreditation requirements in these areas.

3. PRESCHOOL

Supports an increase in funding from the current weighting of 0.5 to 1.0 full-time equivalent to ensure all 4-year-olds have access to a high quality public school preschool program. Districts should be given maximum flexibility to assign costs to the program.

4. EARLY LITERACY

Supports the continued development of and funding for research on best practices for improving proficiency in early literacy strategies.

Supports continued funding for professional development and classroom intervention strategies focused on implementing best practices for early literacy in grades PK-3.

Supports the continuation of programs currently funded by the early intervention block grant program with flexibility to use those funds for other K-3 literacy programs if approved by the school board.

5. ENGLISH LEARNERS

Supports sufficient and on-time funding for English- learners (EL) until the students reach proficiency.

6. DROPOUT/AT RISK

Supports the inclusion of dropout prevention and funding for at-risk students in the foundation formula and the inclusion of socio-economic status as a factor in determining a student's at-risk status. Opposes changes to compulsory age of attendance requirements unless sufficient funds and research-based programs are provided.

7. MENTAL HEALTH

Supports increased statewide access to and funding for mental health services for children.

8. SPECIAL EDUCATION – STATE

Supports predictable and timely state funding to serve students receiving special education services at a level that reflects the actual cost including educational programming and health care costs.

9. SPECIAL EDUCATION – FEDERAL

Supports the federal commitment to fund 40 percent of the cost of educating students receiving special education services, and requests that the federal government fulfill that commitment by increasing funding a minimum of 8 percent per year until the 40 percent figure is achieved.

10. AREA EDUCATION AGENCIES

Supports sufficient financial support of the area education agencies to provide essential services in a cost-effective manner to school districts including:

  • special education;

  • technology;

  • professional development;

  • curriculum assessment; and

  • student assessment data analysis.

11. SCHOOL CALENDARS

Supports the authority of locally elected school boards to determine the school calendar to best meet student needs, including start dates, year round schools, and other innovations.

 

EDUCATOR QUALITY

12. TEACHER LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT

Supports research-based programs and funding to develop strong instructional leadership including:

  • teacher leadership and development

  • beginning teacher mentoring programs

  • quality professional development programs.

13. MARKET-COMPETITIVE WAGES

Supports providing school districts with incentives and the flexibility to pay market competitive wages for shortage area positions, especially in the areas required to meet graduation and Iowa content standards.

14. BENEFITS

Supports allowing school districts to voluntarily enroll their employees in the state’s health, dental and life/long-term disability insurance pools.

15. ALTERNATIVE LICENSURE

Supports the adoption of alternative teacher licensure upon completion of research-based teaching pedagogy training in addition to content knowledge in a curricular area.

16. STAFF REDUCTIONS

Supports giving school districts and AEAs the option to waive the termination requirements in Iowa Code Section 279.13 to reduce staff in response to reductions in funding or to comply with an arbitrator’s award.

17. ARBITRATIONS

Supports a requirement that arbitrators, prior to the imposition of an award, must first consider local conditions, ability to pay, and local settlement history. After the arbitrator determines the school district, AEA or community college has the ability to pay, the arbitrator should then consider comparability based upon similar size and geographic region.

18. LABOR/EMPLOYMENT LAWS

Supports labor and employment laws that balance the rights of the employees with the rights of management, with an emphasis on student achievement and student safety.


FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND STEWARDSHIP

19. SCHOOL FUNDING POLICY

Supports a school foundation formula that:

  • Provides sufficient and timely funding to meet education goals;

  • Equalizes per pupil funding;

  • Provides a funding mechanism for transportation costs that reduces the pressure on the general fund and addresses inequities between school districts;

  • Includes factors based on changes in demographics including socio-economic status, remedial programming, and enrollment challenges;

  • Incorporates categorical funding in the formula within three years; and

  • Includes a mix of property taxes and state aid

20. SUPPLEMENTAL STATE AID

Supports setting supplemental state aid:

  • For FY 2018, by January 31, 2017;

  • For FY 2019 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

Supports a formula driven method for establishing the supplemental state aid growth rate if it is not set within the statutory requirements.

21. PROPERTY TAXES

Supports holding school districts harmless in property tax restructuring.Supports efforts to minimize property tax disparities created by the additional levy rate without compromising additional resources to school districts. Supports improved transparency and limits on the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) including requirements:

  • To include all affected taxing bodies before creation of a TIF district;
  • to limit the duration of all TIF districts

22. SPECIAL LEVY FUNDS

Supports flexibility in the use of special levy funds.

23. TAX BASE

Supports an independent, bi-annual cost- benefit analysis of all income, sales or property tax exemptions, credits or deductions. Creation of a new tax credit must undergo an independent cost benefit analysis. The legislature should have sole authority to make revisions to definitions that impact taxes, restrict future tax bases or provide additional tax breaks that decrease revenue to the state and either directly or indirectly impact tax revenue for schools. 

24. FRANCHISE FEES

Opposes the imposition of franchise fees on school corporations unless the board of directors agrees to such a fee.

25. CONSTITUTIONAL TAX LIMITATIONS

Opposes a constitutional amendment or statewide voter referendum that would limit taxes, spending or local control impacting education.

26. UNFUNDED MANDATES

Opposes any new mandate that does not provide sufficient and sustainable funding for successful implementation.


    SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE

    27. SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for education)

    Supports repeal of the December 31, 2029 sunset on the statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure.

    Supports preserving the integrity of the statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure including the tax equity provisions in the following manner:

    • No diversions or expansions of allowable uses prior to the current 2029 sunset date;

    • Continued growth in the per pupil amount beyond the 2029 sunset date.

    28. BOND ISSUES

    Supports allowing school bond issues to be passed by a simple majority vote.

    Supports the authority to levy a combination of property taxes and income surtaxes to pay the indebtedness.

    Supports legislation to clarify that revenue bonds do not count toward a 5 percent statutory debt limit.


    GOVERNANCE

    29. CHARTER AND ONLINE SCHOOL AUTHORIZING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

    Supports the existing Iowa law establishing local school boards as the sole authority to establish charter and on-line schools. All plans and waivers must be approved by the State Board of Education and subject to all state and federal accountability and reporting standards.

    30. SHARING AND REORGANIZATION

    Supports continuation of sufficient incentives and assistance to encourage sharing or reorganization between school districts including the establishment of regional schools.