Iowa Area Education Agencies

Iowans to lobby for school funding on April 22

April 21, 2015

Iowa educators are rallying parents, business leaders and citizens to join a “lobby from home” day on Wednesday designed to urge state legislators to overcome an impasse on school funding.
 
The Iowa Public Education Coalition, a group of the state’s largest education organizations, calls on citizens from across Iowa to “Lobby for School Funding from Home Day” and encourage state legislators to “Find a Path to Yes” in reaching a funding agreement for Iowa’s public schools. “We urge school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents to reach out into the community and stand up for Iowa’s public schools,” said Lisa Bartusek, executive director of the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB). The Iowa Public Education Coalition includes IASB, the Area Education Agencies, the School Administrators of Iowa, the Iowa State Education Association, the Urban Education Network and the Rural Schools Advocates of Iowa.
 
The impasse concerns Supplemental State Aid, a critical funding source for Iowa’s public schools. Education groups have been pressing for significant increases to meet the growing needs of Iowa students.  Governor Branstad has proposed a modest 1.25 percent increase, which has passed the Iowa House of Representatives. The Iowa Senate backs giving schools a 4 percent increase. Efforts to reach an agreement between the two chambers have been unsuccessful. If legislators can’t find a way to agreement—schools get zero supplemental aid.
 
What can you do? Here are some ideas:

  • Have each board member make a personal contact with legislators through phone or email.
  • Reach out to your communities to engage businesses, city organizations, PTA's to make a phone call or send an email.
  • Have students make signs with the slogan "Find a Path to Yes," and take pictures of them holding those signs. Share the pictures with legislators, and on social media. 
  • Call your local radio station and ask that they interview you about what the failure of action means for Iowa's school children. Use your district as an example. 
  • Send a press release to your local newspaper detailing what actions you will likely have to take if we do not "Find a Path to Yes." Include information about the budget you certified.
  • Find a creative way to use social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Here are a few keys points you can make when speaking with your legislator:

  • Ask legislators to quickly decide on an adequate funding level.
  • Remind legislators that no action means the rate is 0%. Detail what that means for your school district.
  • Highlight innovative projects or students that have been recognized for accomplishments in your district and how a low funding rate could jeopardize programs. 
  • Talk about the long term negative effects of low Supplemental State Aid.

We encourage you to contact your legislators on all media platforms, whether it be email or social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - use hashtag #iaschoolfunding and #ialegis.
 
Find the legislators that serve your area.

Iowa Area Education Agencies
Central Rivers AEA Grant Wood AEA Great Prairie AEA Green Hills AEA Heartland AEA Keystone AEA Mississippi Bend Northwest AEA Prarie Lakes AEA
All Iowa AEAs are required to adhere to state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in programs, activities and employment practices. For specific information, contact your AEA.
Iowa Area Education Agencies
Connie Johnson
Statewide Communications Director
Iowa Area Education Agencies
712/335-3588 ext. 2015
cjohnson@plaea.org

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About AEAs
Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEAs) were created in 1974 by the Iowa legislature to ensure equal educational opportunities for all children from birth through age 21. As regional service agencies, AEAs provide special education and school improvement services for students, families, teachers, administrators, and their communities.


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