School board members, including John Fuller of Colo-NESCO, superintendents, school staff and parents from across Iowa attended the Iowa Association of School Board’s (IASB) Day on the Hill on Feb. 5. IASB again collaborated with parental advocacy group Parents for Great Iowa Schools to include parents for the advocacy training and lobby at the Capitol. More than 150 school board members, superintendents/chief administrators and parents from across Iowa traveled to the Iowa State Capitol to make their voices heard on important education issues.
Attendees first met for advocacy training, budget updates and legislative briefings with IASB staff. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke on her administration’s education priorities and held a brief Q&A session. Participants also had the opportunity to learn parental advocacy techniques from Parents for Great Iowa Schools and district advocacy strategies from members of the Charles City school board.
Following their morning of training, attendees went to the Capitol focused on educating legislators about issues important to Iowa schools:
• Extension of the State Penny for school infrastructure and property tax relief;
• Timely and sufficient school funding;
• A long-term solution to create equity in school transportation and cost per pupil funding; and
• Efforts to support mental health services for all Iowa students.
IASB Board President Joan Corbin noted that it’s incredibly important to advocate on behalf of public education, and these advocates are in a strategic position to do just that. “Who better to advocate for public schools than the individuals who serve on school boards, staff who work in the schools, and citizens who live in the community? We are knowledgeable about how legislation impacts our districts and are the best advocates on issues that matter to our students. When we tell our stories and meet face-to-face with legislators, we can make a real difference.”