It is clear education reform has become a priority for this legislative session. In recent days and through the coming weeks, legislators will be discussing ways to utilize successful, existing programs and services available in the state as well as creating new and innovative strategies to cement Iowa as an educational leader in the U.S. and prepare our students to compete in a global economy.
Education discussions have consumed much of my time in recent days. We are holding Education budget subcommittee meetings nearly every day, and hearing from Iowa’s school superintendents and administrators, colleges’ and universities’ representatives and various department heads. It has been a very educational experience – needless to say.
However, I want to learn more – especially from those throughout Senate District 14. Our budget meetings have yielded a plethora of information, but are lacking some valuable input. Many of the speakers addressing the committee are discussing how the state budget is impacting schools. The overwhelming majority of those districts making the trek to the Capitol are from larger school districts in metro areas. I am asking for the smaller- and medium-sized schools in my district to email me and share your thoughts.
Folks, I am interested in speaking to everyone: superintendents, teachers, students and parents. This is YOUR education system.
Decisions surrounding our children’s education are something I don’t take lightly. We must have an educated population in order to have a vibrant economy and maintain our self-governance. I believe education reform is not a fix that can be made with a Band-Aid or be short-sighted. It requires leadership and vision. We must charter a new course for success because the results yielded in recent years have not always produced desirable results.
We are spending more money than ever on education, yet business and industry tell us our students are entering the workforce unprepared and unable to compete at a global level. In 1992, Iowa students rated top in the nation for performance. Iowa student performance has since fallen to 25th place nationally.
We must have the same commitment from our educators to embrace meaningful policy reforms while satisfying their financial commitments needed to make these visions a reality.
Mining through the mountains of data, discussing education reform during personal visits and with YOUR input, I truly believe I will be equipped with the necessary information to make an informed decision how to best serve our students and schools and return Iowa’s education system to national prominence.
I always look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Amy Sinclair, education reform, Iowa Senate, Senate District 14, Senate Education Committee