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Opinion :: Representative clarifies education bill
· 12:43pm February 26th, 2013
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Nine years at the Capitol and for the very first time, last Thursday all of the House and Senate meetings were canceled for snow and look what happened...NADA. You can imagine over the last 8 winters, the precarious road conditions I've traveled in to get there and work was not even delayed, let alone canceled. That just goes to show, you must have a sense of humor or at least a sense of the ironic so you can laugh about these things!
Below is my column on the provisions of the education reform bill we voted on Wednesday morning, but when I got home and saw how mangled the interpretation was by one of my superintendents in an article, I think I still need to clarify. This stuff is complex enough without making it harder.
There were two major money changes in the bill:
1. Changing allowable growth to supplemental state aid
2. Implementing the Education Reforms (note: a school district opts in, they do not have to do them)
So let's start with number 1, changing allowable growth to the supplemental state aid.
Allowable growth is a raise for each pupil. Right now, 2013, it is $6,001 for each student. The $6,001 is paid for by 87.5% state and 12.5% property tax. Every time we vote on allowable growth, it forces the school to raise your property tax.
Proposed and Voted on Last Week - HF215
Supplemental state aid is a raise for each pupil, replacing allowable growth. It changes the amount for 2014 to $6,121 and 2015 to $6,243. The $6,121 and $6,243 will be paid 100% by the state. The school districts will not be forced to charge you property taxes like they do with allowable growth. This is a reduction in property taxes for you. A raise for each child from $6,001 to $6,121 to $6,243 in two years. This raise adds up to about $145 million dollars.
The difference, if we raised allowable growth by 2%, rather than changing to supplemental state aid, that $120 raise per student would be $105 state and $15 property tax for 2014.
Let's use Vinton-Shellsburg as an example and how this applies:
less 38.8 students for 2014
2014 state aid $10,089,244
Difference is a minus $35,000 because they have less children.
If a School Board decides they cannot make any changes to the school because of the loss of children (declining enrollment), they can make a budget adjustment by raising property taxes for that $35,000 plus 1% of their prior year budget. $35,000 + $101,243 = $136,243 of a possible property tax increase. They do not have to raise property taxes like they would have if we'd left it as allowable growth.
Now for number 2, Implementing the Education Reforms (Reminder: a school district opts in, they do not have to do the reforms.). Every one of my school districts are in the black after implementing. Here are the numbers from the Legislative Services Agency for each school district. Look at the Est Total Cost of Implementation line compared to State Funding.:
School State Funding Est Cost of Total Cost to State Funding Est Cost of Est Total State Funding
District TLS Allocation Pathways Salary Increase Minimum vs Cost of Salary Replacing Mentor Cost of vs Total Cost of
Supplements to $32,000 Supplement and and Lead Teachers Implementation Implementation
up to $32,000
Belle Plaine $ 176,132.00 $ 55,958.00 $ - $ 120,174.00 $ 89,767.00 $ 145,725.00 $ 30,407.00
Benton Community $ 456,019.00 $ 159,715.00 $ - $ 296,305.00 $ 258,079.00 $ 417,794.00 $ 38,226.00
Center Point-Urbana $ 402,553.00 $ 139,896.00 $ - $ 262,657.00 $ 224,417.00 $ 364,313.00 $ 38,241.00
Iowa Valley $ 171,275.00 $ 55,958.00 $ - $ 115,316.00 $ 89,767.00 $ 145,725.00 $ 25,550.00
Union $ 370,565.00 $ 111,917.00 $ 4,723.00 $ 253,926.00 $ 179,533.00 $ 296,173.00 $ 74,393.00
Vinton-Shellsburg $ 503,589.00 $ 167,875.00 $ - $ 335,713.00 $ 269,300.00 $ 437,175.00 $ 66,414.00
$ 2,080,133.00 $ 691,319.00 $ 4,723.00 $ 1,384,091.00 $ 1,110,863.00 $ 1,806,905.00 $ 273,231.00
Link to ALL school districts is HF215, 2/18 date on this link. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/LSAReports/noba.aspx
Hope this helps clear up any misunderstandings. I'm aware it is too much information, but for those who are interested, you will have it.
Bottom line, your school will have an increase in funding for each child attending and a reduction in your property taxes because of the change from Allowable Growth to Supplemental State Aid. AND all of our school districts can implement the reforms without losing money, if they want to.
Attached are the links to the Legislative Services Agency data and below is the column for this week. Enjoy and if you have any questions, I'm here for you!
In the Statehouse
February 22, 2013
Over the past few years, we have spent a lot of time talking about education and listening to parents, kids, teachers, administrators and the people who offer jobs about what is and what isn’t working. Basically, in spite of the state giving 60% of your taxes to education, it is not cutting the mustard.
Over the last 20 years, Iowa has slipped from number 1 to the middle of the pack and our kids are getting out of school without the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. You can’t point to just one factor that’s caused the change, it is many factors and all of us are responsible in some way or another. Sometimes you have to find the common ground and go from there. Because we all believe in helping a young person to success, we have been able to stop the finger pointing and get some things done.
This week, the House took the Governor’s Education Reform bill and changed it to how we want it and sent it to the Senate. The Senate will take parts they like, change parts they don’t and send it back to us. At that point, the negotiations to find middle ground begin. Our state government isn’t deadlocked like the federal government. We will come to conclusions, because we all believe in the success of a young person.
Here are the details of the bill:
1. Allowable Growth/Supplemental State Aid - The amount of money per child will grow from $6,001 to $6,121 in 2014 and $6,243 in 2015. $6,001 to $6,121 to $6,243. That extra per child raise equals $128,000,000 dollars.
2. Iowa Learning Online
* Provides funding to expand Iowa Learning Online offerings
3. Teach Iowa Initiative
* Tuition Reimbursement – $4000/year ($20K max) for top students who commit to teach in Iowa for 5 years
* Student Teaching Pilot – Extends student teaching during senior year from one semester to a full year
* Jobs Board – Creates a state-wide education job posting system
4. Iowa Certificate of Distinction Program
* Requires development of program to award certificates to graduates who follow specific pathways that can designate students as being college or career ready, depending on the chosen pathway
1. Educator Development System
* Requires annual evaluations of teachers by administrators
* Gives DE authority to develop additional teacher standards, outside of those already in statute, that may be adopted by the legislature
* Establishes a council to review standards and teacher and administrator performance reviews
1. Teacher Leadership and Compensation – Optional program, Alternative Plans Can be submitted, 3 year phase-in
* Raises base teacher salaries from $28,000 to $32,000
* Creates career pathways for teachers
* Provides schools with $145 million for the program
* Initial Teacher – 0-2 years, formal evaluations annually; Career Teacher –full time in classroom; Model Teacher –full time in classroom, classroom is open to observation by others, contract extended 5 days and $2000 minimum additional salary; Mentor Teacher –75% in the classroom, 25% developing other teachers, contract extended 10 days and $5000 minimum additional salary; Lead Teacher – 50% in the classroom, 50% developing other teachers, contract extended 15 days and $10,000 additional salary
* Creates residency year for new teachers with reduced teaching load and increased learning opportunities
* Provides funding to assistance high-needs schools in raising student achievement
1. Competency-Based Education and Extended Learning Time Pilot Project
* Requires the Competency-Based Education (CBE) Task Force to develop a plan and timeline for statewide implementation of CBE
* Establishes a pilot project that will raise student achievement for students in low-performing schools through extended learning opportunities
1. Home School and Private School Provisions
* Allows Private Schools to be accredited by an approved accrediting agency, instead of the state
* Gave Home School families the freedom of school without state interference
* Provided families looking for home school opportunities the ability to work with other home schooling parents to teach their children outside of a traditional school setting.
* Allows home schooling parents to teach driver’s education to their children through an approved curriculum, meeting even stricter standards than in a traditional public driver’s ed course
1. Home Rule For School Districts
* Gave local school boards more control by establishing Home Rule
When the bill comes back from the Senate, I will let you know how it changes. If you have any questions or problems, you can contact me at 515-281-3221, 515-281-6879 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
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