Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Steckman: “Very little progress” from Education Reform conference committee

State Rep. Sharon Steckman
State Rep. Sharon Steckman

From Rep. Sharon Steckman –

With just two weeks left until the scheduled close of this session, we have been taking very tiny steps toward resolving the many issues that are still to be decided. The Education Reform conference committee, on which I sit, has met five times with very little progress to report.

The major issue continues to be tying the allowable growth figure to the reform proposals. While the majority party seemed to offer a formula for 4% allowable growth, closer inspection shows that it is far less than that. The schools would have to forfeit $30 million in Early Literacy Block Grant money. The multiple career pathways for teachers would be underfunded and the Allowable Growth multiplier in the second year would be reduced because 2% of the money in the first year is a one-time allowance.

I am concerned because school districts had to have their budgets set by April 15th and have already made decisions regarding class size and teacher lay-offs.

I did have the opportunity this week to see a bill on which I had worked and offered an amendment make it all the way through both chambers. It is a targeted bill which will help a school district in Howard county offer their students an entrepreneurial opportunity. Students would be allowed to invest and engage in business opportunities – in this case, through FFA – by establishing a special fund for that purpose. I worked with the Attorney General’s office to make sure the language was tight enough to avoid any conflict of interest. HF 533 can be used as a template for any other school organization that would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

A special hearing this week offered Iowans an opportunity to speak out on the Medicaid expansion plan as offered by the Affordable Care act versus the Governor’s plan known as Healthy Iowa. The majority of people who came to the Statehouse to participate favored the Medicaid expansion plan. Because of the rules governing such hearings that alternate pro and con speakers, approximately 30 who favored the expansion plan were not given the time to speak. Please follow the link for more information on the hearing.

FYI: Since Iowa is one of the few states that do not provide direct support to food banks, Democrats have proposed spending $2 million annually for community food banks. Last year, the Legislature approved $500,000, but it was vetoed by the Governor. However, the need continues to grow.

I always look forward to hearing from you regarding the issues of the day. The best way to get in touch with me is by emailing me at

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

She is one of the SPEND SISTERS. That is pretty much all she and her sister Ragan know how to do.

11 years ago

Can’t we fine someone better than this ignoramus to represent us?

Earl P.
11 years ago

Iowa already has too damn many have-nots, all they ever want is more of our money. Steckman is part of the problem, not the answer.

just saying
11 years ago

“Democrats have proposed spending $2 million annually for community food banks.” Now will the democrats tell us where that money is going to come from that we are going to give to the “have nots” again?

Even more news:

Copyright 2024 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x