Iowa’s Education Reform: What Will it Mean to You?

Marion Herbert's picture
Monday, May 14, 2012

The typical school day won’t be much different next year from the way it was this year for most of Iowa’s K-12 students and their families, despite the education reform package passed by the Legislature last week.

Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to sign the legislation even though he and Department of Education Director Jason Glass agree it falls short of what they wanted.

The governor’s ambitious 156-page, $25 million proposal released in January is now a 33-page package costing less than a tenth of the original figure, and that money is earmarked for early childhood reading.

Some of the most controversial proposals were chucked overboard in the waning days of the 84th General Assembly when it became clear that the majority Republicans in the House could not agree with the majority Democrats in the Senate.

Still, some students — those in third grade, those who take online courses and those who are in college studying to become teachers — will see changes, assuming Branstad signs the measure into law.

“Much of what was required in (the legislation) we are already doing,” said Paul Gausman, superintendent of Sioux City Community School District and chairman of the Urban Education Network of Iowa.

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