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Legislative update from Senator Amanda Ragan

Senator Amanda Ragan


Iowa continues to lead the nation with a high school graduation rate that has increased five years in a row. More than 91 percent of students in Iowa’s Class of 2016 graduated within four years.

This is good news that we can build upon by ensuring all Iowa high school graduates have the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and job training. After all, our students are our future workers, innovators, business owners and community leaders.

We must always be looking to improve Iowa education in ways that benefit our students and strengthen our economy. Businesses consistently report that Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers holds us back.

We can lay the groundwork by investing first and foremost in our students, teachers and schools. This includes:

· Making sure kids can get into preschool if their families want them to participate.
· Ensuring all students get the same amount for their studies—regardless of where they go to school—by paying for school transportation costs separately from education.
· Helping students learn to read in a timely way so that they continue to succeed in school and in life.
· Improving civic education so that more young people are encouraged to become active, responsible citizens.
· Preparing students to fill jobs in the most in-demand fields, including health care and manufacturing, by expanding access to STEM education.

We can continue to lead when it comes to keeping our kids in school and graduating on time. But let’s also ensure they’re getting the best-possible preparation to take on the challenges and opportunities that await them.

Schedule a classroom visit

Summer vacation is ending, and teachers and students are heading back to the classroom. I’m setting up my fall schedule, so if you’re interested in having me come to your school, give me a call or e-mail me.

When I go “Back to School,” I get to talk with young people—our nation’s future voters and leaders—about my job as a state legislator. It gives me the chance to answer questions, share ideas and listen to concerns.

The goal is to engage students and help them understand how democracy works. It’s one of my favorite parts of being a senator.

High school students: apply to be a page

Each year, high school juniors and seniors work as pages at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session, which runs from January through April.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn firsthand about state government, work with elected officials, and see how ideas for a better Iowa become law.

Job duties include responding to requests from legislators and staff, assisting during committee meetings, and distributing and organizing materials and supplies. Pages are paid $9.05 per hour. They may also arrange for academic credit with their high school.

The application deadline for the 2018 session is October 6. For complete details, go to

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