Supports implementation of initiatives in Iowa’s PK-12 education system that:
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:
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.
Supports continued funding to ensure that all 4 and 5-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 and 5-year-olds have the ability to attend the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program.
Districts should be given maximum flexibility to assign costs to the program.
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.
Supports additional funding for programs designed to ensure that all students meet literacy expectations by the end of 3rd grade.
Supports sufficient and on-time funding for English-learners (EL) until the students reach proficiency.
Supports additional resources to school districts and AEAs to:
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. Supports allowing districts to request additional dropout prevention modified supplemental amount up to the 5% maximum cap. Opposes changes to the compulsory age of attendance unless sufficient funds are provided to implement strategies to retain those students.
Supports efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health systems to offer preventative and treatment services and comprehensive school mental health programs that include:
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
TEACHER LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT
Supports adequate resources for research-based programs and strong instructional leadership, including:
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.
Supports allowing school districts to voluntarily enroll their employees in the state’s health, dental and life/long-term disability insurance pools.
TEACHER RECRUITMENT & LICENSURE
Supports additional tools to attract individuals to the teaching profession, especially for teacher shortage areas including:
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.
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.
SCHOOL FUNDING POLICY
Supports a school foundation formula that:
SUPPLEMENTAL STATE AID
Supports setting supplemental state aid:
Setting supplemental state aid within the statutory requirements allows districts to make sound financial decisions on programs and staffing levels in order to provide 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.
Supports increasing the budget guarantee amount to 3% to provide additional stability to school districts with declining enrollment.
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 the following requirements:
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% statutory debt limit.
SPECIAL LEVY FUNDS
Supports flexibility in the use of special levy funds.
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. IASB supports elimination of any tax credits that are deemed not effective and redirect any revenue increases from the elimination of those credits to enhance funding for public education.
Supports the legislature having 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.
Opposes a constitutional amendment or statewide voter referendum that would limit taxes, spending or local control impacting education.
Opposes the imposition of franchise fees on school corporations unless the board of directors agrees to such a fee.
Opposes mandates that do not provide adequate and direct funding for successful implementation.
LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND DECISION-MAKING
Supports providing local school boards with decision-making authority regarding methods to accomplish desired educational outcomes. IASB opposes overly restrictive or inefficient limitations which inhibit innovation, efficiency, and the ability of school boards to meet local needs. Local accountability and decision-making includes:
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:
Supports opportunities for continued collaboration between public and nonpublic 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.
Supports a minimum of four special election dates per calendar year for bond referendums, votes on levies and revenue purpose statements and filling school board vacancies.
SHARING AND REORGANIZATION
Supports continuation of sufficient incentives and assistance to encourage sharing or reorganization between school districts including the establishment of regional schools. Supports expanding the positions eligible for operational sharing incentives.
HOME SCHOOL REPORTING
Supports requiring parents/guardians home schooling their children without the support of a certified teacher to register with their public school attendance centers.