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School board sets 2014 legislative priorities

Clarke Community School Board set its legislative priorities for the 2014 session of the Iowa Legislature during the Aug. 12 school-board meeting.

This year, the school board participated in Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) legislative policy process by talking about the impact of state policy on the district and voting on legislative resolutions for the next legislative session. Each school board prioritizes up to five resolutions.

Clarke School Board determined the following priorities for 2014 are critical to students and taxpayers in the school district:

1) Supports adequate funding to ensure all 4-year-olds have access to a high-quality public school preschool program. We should continue to allow 4-year-olds to be included in the enrollment count if those programs can demonstrate meeting the collaboration and quality standards requirements of the statewide voluntary preschool program.

2) Supports adequate and on-time funding for English-language learning (ELL) students until the students reach proficiency.

3) Supports legislation requiring any new mandate have corresponding funding sufficient to implement the new mandate.

4) 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 boards of directors

• Does not “repurpose” existing education funds, and

• Does not impose new mandates unless they are fully funded

5) Supports the repeal of the mandatory school start date, while offering incentives to school districts to provide extended days and/or innovative calendars. School districts receiving these incentives will evaluate and determine the impact on student learning when establishing the start day for school.

The grassroots IASB legislative process involves all school-board members in Iowa. Together, school leaders made difference. Resolutions submitted by school districts will be reviewed by the IASB Board of Directors before being debated and adopted by the IASB Delagate Assembly at its annual meeting Nov. 20 in Des Moines.

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