Rural educators are bracing for the potential impact of the “student first scholarship” legislation that passed the Iowa Senate Wednesday night. The legislation, Senate File 2369, would allow students who choose to attend private school to use tax dollars to pay for tuition. Gov. Kim Reyolds proposes that 30 percent of Iowa’s per pupil funding for K-12 students who accept tax dollars to pay for private school go into a separate fund and be distributed equally to mostly rural districts with 500 or fewer students.
Iowa has 104 districts with 500 or fewer students, according to numbers from the Iowa Department of Education. There are 327 total public school districts in the state. Chris Coffelt, the shared superintendent of Central Decatur and Lamoni districts south of Des Moines, said his school districts are an example of why the plan isn’t gaining traction.
ByHanah Kitamoto, Kailey Gee, Krisha Kapoor, Alex Carlon, Maddy Smith and Misha Canin / IowaWatch |
The Class of `21 has taken COVID-19’s brunt when it comes to education but also traditions and rites of passage. But students interviewed for a new IowaWatch high school journalism project showed plenty of pain in all grades this past year.
Several Iowa school districts have taken on debt the last 17 years, with one district owing as much as $35,448 per student, to handle student enrollment increases but also repairs to aging buildings. The question they face is: how to manage that debt?
A University of Iowa’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and College of Education project will help Iowa school teachers apply Next Generation Science Standards in class that let students decide for themselves if climate change exists.
ByFenna Semken, Clare Rolinger, Sophia Schillinger, Mina Takahashi, Taylor Shelfo and Stephen J. Berry |
Facing intense academic demands and ever-present peer comparisons through social media, an increasing number of Iowa high school students grapple with mental health issues and enduring problems previous generations seldom confronted, an IowaWatch High School Journalism Project has found.
Data shows the results of school district equity reviews conducted by the Iowa Department of Education based on the letter of findings sent to districts as well as the date upon which school districts became compliant. Documents from reviews starting in the fall of 2010 through February 2016 were reviewed.
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Most Iowa School Districts Don’t Comply With Americans With Disabilities Act
Find your school or school district in the database of non-compliance citations compiled by IowaWatch. IowaWatch reporter Hannah Soyer obtained equity review documents from the Iowa Department of Education for reviews conducted from the fall of 2010 through February 2016. Since 2010, the Iowa Department of Education has inspected 48 school districts in the districts’ annual equity review, and all except one had areas of non-compliance with the ADA. The largest categories of non-compliance were parking and passenger loading zones, with a combined 336 citations, followed by toilet rooms with 157 and entrances with 122. Jump to Year:
2010-2011 Equity Reviews
When Cael Rudkin was in first grade at West Marshall Elementary School he got stuck outside one day because none of the school’s doors had handicap accessible push buttons. Fact is, the majority of Iowa school districts reviewed by the Iowa Department of Education do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, an IowaWatch investigation revealed.
The national K-12 common core education standards have drawn attention from educators, parents, and government officials. The Iowa Core is to be fully implemented by the end of this academic year. But what is it, and why are so many talking about it?