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Ever since the 2008 economic depression that gripped the country and school systems throughout America, we have been in a deep financial dive that has forced budget cuts in all areas. Many school systems are currently operating with budgets that are at pre-2008 levels. The Sequester certainly did not help and hardest hit were districts that, because of high poverty levels, were very dependent on federal funding. The districts that could least afford it were hit the hardest. Adding insult to injury, Congress took us to the edge of economic disaster resulting in a government shut down and the threat of our country defaulting on its debts. Read more »

 

The Iowa School Foundation Formula Task Force released a report containing an analysis of Iowa’s current school funding formula. The report examines equitable--or inequitable--portions of the existing policy and procedures and gives many options for how these issues could be resolved. This effort is in anticipation of the Iowa Legislature’s statutorily required review of the school funding formula after the 2014 legislative session. Read more »

 

AASA is very engaged in federal appropriations work. Congress has been working to resolve the major differences in each chamber’s respective budget proposal for FY14. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would restore 87 percent of the sequester cuts for FY14, the funds that will be in schools for the 2014-15 school year. This represents a significant improvement over the current funding level, which provides federal education funding levels that are pre-2004. Read more »

 

Heads of Iowa school districts delivered a position statement on student assessment to Gov. Branstad. The leaders believe the statewide assessment system should reflect a commitment to improving instruction and student learning by aligning to the Iowa Core, measuring individual student growth, providing valid and reliable data, offering timely feedback and being purpose driven. Read more »