From Rep. Sharon Steckman –
Governor Branstad’s concepts for education reform will be one of his key recommendations to the 2012 Iowa Legislature.
There are still many questions to be answered concerning the recommendations, one is the cost. We worked hard last year to save preschool and fund K-12 education. We will be looking carefully at the recommended legislation from the Governor to make sure those dollars are used in the best possible way.
In the past, Iowa has developed programs that mentor new teachers; reduce class sizes; provide professional development for teachers; and ensure quality preschool is available statewide. Questions remain as to how the proposed reforms affect current programs, improve learning, and how much the reform measures cost.
I know that in the upcoming session we can take our party hats off and work together on a plan that works best for Iowa kids. A plan that is research based and supports students’ learning and teacher collaboration while at the same time raising standards to meet global expectations.
The Governor’s plan is available at www.educateiowa.gov. The House Democrats have set up a website for Iowans to make comments on the plan. That address is iowahouse.org/educationreform.