At the Board meeting held on July 18th, the Board of Directors finalized and set a list of priorities for the 2012 General Assembly. Those priorities were submitted to the Iowa Association of School Boards, and the delegate assembly will ratify the final platform at the convention, which will be held in November. Among the priorities submitted were the following:
- Supports preserving the integrity of the statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure, including tax equity provisions of buying down the highest additional levy rates to the state average.
- Supports giving school districts and the AEAS the option to reduce staff to respond to reductions in funding or to comply with an arbitrator's award. Districts and AEA's should not be required to use the teacher contract termination procedures in Iowa Code 279.13 for such staff reductions.
- Requires arbitrators to first consider local conditions and ability to pay; once the arbitrator determines the district has the ability to pay, the arbitrator should determine comparability.
- Supports the revision of code and administrative regulations to permit the use of funds generated by modified allowable growth for dropout prevention for the development and implementation of innovative and creative broad uses including, but not restricted to, prevention programs and remediation programs for dropouts and potential dropouts and also for such dropout prevention programs and activities provided in general for students regardless of identification as dropout or potential dropouts. In the aforementioned programs in keeping with the amount of time assigned to such prevention and remediation pogroms rather than being applicable for only those times that the employee is working directly and exclusively with previously identified dropouts or potential dropouts. Also, up to five percent of these funds should be available to provide for the administration and supervision of such prevention and remediation pogroms.
- Supports efforts to complete collective bargaining as a statewide unit.
In other action, the Board approved bids for the fuel, dairy, and bread contracts for the 2011-2012 school year, passed a resolution calling for the renewal of the Revenue Purpose Statement on the September ballot, passed the second reading of Board Policy Code 701.4 (GASB 54), and approved the purchase of curriculum material for the high school Science and English department.
We are still searching for candidates to run for the school board for the term beginning in September! The filing deadline is August 5th, so time is quickly running out. If you have questions about board service or know of someone who would make a good school board member, please have them call my office at 988-3233. You can speak with the business manager about filing papers. Please consider serving in this very important role!