Friday, February 15, 2013

ISEA HOTLINE--February 15, 2013

Iowa House Education Committee amends Governor's education proposal
Late Wednesday night the Iowa House Education Committee passed House File 215, a 38-page strike and replace amendment to the Governor's education proposal. Major changes include setting the minimum teacher salary at $32,000, which is $3000 lower than the Governor's originally proposed $35,000 minimum starting salary and allowing schools to opt out of the Career and Compensation Matters provisions. Those provisions pay for stipends for teachers who would become Model, Mentor, or Lead teachers. As written, HF 215 would also not provide additional resources to those districts who opt out of the Career and Compensation Matters provision in order for them to raise the minimum salary. No play, no pay.

Additionally, HF 215 replaces the peer review structure created by SF 2284, last year's education reform proposal, with an annual evaluation conducted by an administrator, thus completely eliminating the opportunity for peer feedback and reflection. Please note that this is only a proposed change presented by the House Republicans. It does not affect existing statute which calls for peer review for the upcoming school year.
It is very important to remember that this is only the first offering by the House Republicans. This bill does not reflect the goals and objectives of the entire legislature including the Senate, which is controlled by a pro-public education majority. This bill will be eligible for debate in the House as early as Tuesday of next week and we will continue to update you on its movement.

Allowable GrowthThe pro-public education majority in the Iowa Senate, voted today to set the Allowable Growth rate for the 2014/2015 school year at 4 percent, which would provide an additional $114 million to Iowa schools for FY 2015. The vote in the Senate fell along party lines with all Democrats voting yes, and all Republicans present voting no. We would like to say thank you to the Senate Democrats for following the law and setting Allowable Growth for FY 15 in a reasonable and timely fashion. The bills, along with Allowable Growth for FY 2014, have all now been sent to the House, where they await action.
Take Action Now!
There are two things you need to do right now.

Attend legislative forums in your area and write to your legislators on Allowable Growth and House File 215.

When you talk with your Legislators, explain what this means for your students and your community. If this proposed Legislation would affect the bargaining of your contracts and your school's ability to budget, tell your Legislators about those consequences. Take positive action and let your Representatives know how this affects you!