Parents complain about the new Iowa House Education Reform Committee

When Iowa lawmakers return to the statehouse in January, they are expected to pass several education bills that never made it to the floor in the last session. Iowa House leaders plan to increase their focus on education with a new Education Reform Committee in addition to a separate Education Committee. Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley will chair the new five-member committee, which will focus on a “broad range of education reforms.” “This new committee will allow these important issues to be brought before the entire group for the in-depth discussion they deserve,” Grassley said. Rep. Lindsay James (D-Dubuque) says Democrats in Iowa are not sure what those reforms will look like. “It’s really difficult to speculate on,” James said. “When it comes to education reform, the concern is that this is just a committee looking at bad ideas like banning books and locking up teacher vouchers for our public schools.” In the most recent session, state lawmakers have several policy ones Taken action focused on education that never happened, crossed the finish line. More transparency in schools, banning obscene materials in schools, reform of the Board of Educational Examiners, alternatives to teachers’ licenses and a school choice program all remained on the table. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has spent the last two sessions pushing to bring the school choice to Iowa. The program would use taxpayer money to help some Iowans pay for private school tuition. The plan made it through the Iowa Senate but stalled both years in the Iowa House. This session, Reynolds says, “implementing the school choice” is her “top priority.” That priority concerns Johnston’s mother, Lya Williams. “Long term, this will cause our public school education to lose credibility,” argues Williams said. “We should look at what resources we have to encourage the teachers that we have. And what resources do we have to encourage future teachers to come in? But she’s hoping the committee will prioritize measures to protect parental rights, don’t think you know what’s best,” Bagley said. “I know what’s best as a parent.” She also encourages lawmakers to reconsider school transparency policies. “I think when a teacher has something to hide, it’s worrying. “So I’m all for it.” But before she works on any policy, Johnston’s mother, Sara Hayden Parris, wants that “The committee’s main focus is on increasing public school funding. Honestly, my main point would be funding,” she said. “Tell me how you’re going to fund our schools adequately, and then we can talk about the rest, because if.” If you do not have the resources to support these initiatives, they are just empty promises.”

When Iowa lawmakers return to the statehouse in January, they are expected to pass several education bills that never made it to the floor in the last session.

Iowa House leaders plan to increase their focus on education with a new Education Reform Committee in addition to a separate Education Committee.

Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley will chair the new five-member committee, which will focus on a “broad range of education reforms.”

“This new committee will allow these important issues to be brought before the entire group for the in-depth discussion they deserve,” Grassley said.

Rep. Lindsay James (D-Dubuque) says Democrats in Iowa are not sure what those reforms will look like.

“It’s really difficult to speculate,” said James. “When it comes to education reform, the concern is that this is just a committee looking at bad ideas like banning books or jailing teachers [and] Vouchers for our public schools.”

In the last session, state legislatures picked up several policies focused on education that never made it across the finish line. More transparency in schools, banning obscene materials in schools, reform of the Board of Educational Examiners, alternatives to teachers’ licenses and a school choice program all remained on the table.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has spent the last two sessions pushing to bring the school choice to Iowa. The program would use taxpayer money to help some Iowans pay private school tuition.

The plan made it through the Iowa Senate but stalled both years in the Iowa House.
This session, Reynolds says, “implementing the school choice” is her “top priority.”

That priority concerns Johnston’s mother, Lya Williams.

“In the long run, this will reduce the credibility of our public school education,” argues Williams.

“It’s scary to me because … the public school vouchers aren’t the direction we should be going,” she said. “We should look at what resources we have to encourage the teachers we have. And what resources do we have to encourage future teachers to get started?”

However, Ankeny mum Torrie Bagley says she is open to learning more about the school choice. However, she hopes the committee will prioritize measures to protect parental rights.

“You might think you know someone’s kid and how they behave at school [and] You may think you know what’s best, but you didn’t bring that child into the world. So I don’t think you know what’s best,” Bagley said. “I know what the best thing about being a parent is.”

She also encourages lawmakers to reconsider school transparency policies.

“I think when a teacher has something to hide, it’s worrying. Of the teachers I know, they’re all for having some transparency in the classroom,” Bagley said. “So I’m for it.”

But before they work on any policy, Johnston’s mother, Sara Hayden Parris, wants the committee’s main focus to be on increasing public school funding.

“Honestly, my main point would be funding,” she said. “Tell me how you’re going to adequately fund our schools and then we can talk about the rest because if you don’t have the resources to support these initiatives, they’re just empty promises.”

Source