Iowa Republican Legislators Stand for Educational Freedom

Just an update about yesterday’s conference committee on education reform up at the Iowa State House.  Iowa House Republicans said they’d be willing to do 4% allowable growth this year and next IF the Iowa Senate Democrats would accept their bill (HF 215) with the educational freedom measures as is.

Then you have Senate Education Chair (and chair of the conference committee) State Senator Herman Quirmbach (D-Ames) who said last week, “the price for education reform is 4 and 4, I want the governor to know this.”

Tim Albrecht, spokesman for Governor Terry Branstad said, “The Branstad administration acknowledged this, and understands this is the price for the governor’s education reform. We expect Senator Quirmbach to remain true to his word and support the plan put forward by House Republicans today, which included four percent growth each of the next two years, and contains the governor’s education reform plan. This is a good faith compromise with the Senate Democrats’ funding priorities and Republican reform priorities, and is legislation both parties in both chambers can support. The governor supports this legislation and hopes Senate Democrats will join him and Iowa House Republicans in this truly historic effort to make Iowa’s schools the best in the nation once again.”

The Branstad Administration had the graphic below on their Facebook page:

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I said yesterday I’d be happy for House Republicans to offer this if it meant we get the educational freedom measures like independent accreditation for non-public schools, competent private driver’s education, and competent private instruction reform that does away with the CPI forms and other requirements.

Now they have Senate Democrats between a rock and a hard place.  Will they turn down 4% allowable growth just because they don’t want the other education reform measures?  How will they explain that to the public schools who have been asking for this?

The only thing I’m not happy about at the moment is that there is no plan to strip the assessment language from the House Bill.  More on that in a follow-up post.

Here are the members of the conference committee again:

Iowa Senate Members:

Iowa House Members:

About Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012 which later merged with Iowa RestorEd. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

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