Iowa school board members set 2021 legislative platform, new priority on overcoming achievement gaps due to COVID-19.

DES MOINES, Iowa (November 18, 2020) – Nearly 200 delegates from the Iowa Association of School Board’s (IASB) member school boards and area education agency (AEA) boards gathered virtually for the Delegate Assembly on Nov. 17 to conduct the annual meeting and set the platform for the 2021 legislative session. 

Delegates approved five legislative priorities, including a COVID-19 Remediation priority in support of additional resources for districts and AEAs to identify achievement gaps and provide remediation for students impacted negatively by loss of instruction due to COVID-19 school closings. 

“2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges that boards across the state have worked tirelessly to overcome and provide the best education for children during this global pandemic,” said IASB Board President Jim Green, “Delegates voted in an overwhelming majority to add a priority addressing the achievement gaps that we knew would be occurring due to the school shut-downs in March and varying circumstances that each individual child experiences.”

“We know that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution with the digital divide, home support, varying levels of engagement and quality of remote instruction. It will take data, time and resources to get students caught up and back on track,” he said. 

The approved platform includes these five priorities: 

* Supporting additional resources to school districts and AEAs to identify achievement gaps among individual students and provide remediation for all students impacted negatively by loss of instruction due to COVID-19 school closings; 

* Focusing on efforts to increase funding and statewide access for mental health services to all Iowa students;

* Supporting continuation of the school funding policy that ensures equity, especially in transportation costs and district cost per pupil rates;

* Setting supplemental state aid rates in a timely way, with sufficient resources to sustain world-class schools; and

* Supporting increased access to early education.

IASB’s Delegate Assembly is a vital link connecting board members and legislative issues. The resolutions’ process gives each school board the opportunity to suggest priorities for the platform, then vote on the final platform and priorities. Each board appoints one board member as delegate to represent their board’s views.

To see the full list of beliefs, resolutions and legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session, please visit the IASB website

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