Coverage on this topic by the Des Moines Register:“School Vouchers/Educational Savings Accounts/School Choice”Saturday, January 27, 10:00 -11:30amUNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education AuditoriumScott Ellison, faculty member in the UNI College of Education, will talk about school choice implementation in other parts of the United States and other countries.Roark Horn, Director of School Administrators of Iowa, will talk about the impacts that school vouchers could have on school districts in Iowa.
The Facts About Iowa’s Public Schools and Iowa’s Students
- All state residents are entitled to free public K-12 education up to age 21.
- Each local school district in Iowa must offer a complete education in all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade.
- Iowa school districts range from small rural districts serving hundreds of students to larger urban districts serving many thousands. Our schools must manage to meet the specific needs of the students in their district.
- Public schools must meet a range of state education standards and performance goals, as well as fiscal accountability measures for effective and efficient use of all public school funds.
We are all Iowa public schools
- 338: Number of Iowa school districts. All districts must be accredited by the state Department of Education in order to remain in operation.
- 1,364: Number of public school buildings.
- 34,725: Public school teachers. All classroom teachers must be properly licensed and certified in their subject area.
- 482,004: The number of public school students in the state of Iowa, grades K-12; that’s 92 percent of all grade-school students in the state. There are 32,331 non-public/alternative school students, or 6 percent of all state students, and approximately 10,000, or 2 percent, of homeschool students. Those 8 percent of Iowa students enrolled in private or home schools receive $52 million each year in Iowa taxpayer funded direct assistance and tax credits.
- 22.6: The percent of Iowa students who are of minority racial or ethnic descent
Iowa public schools funding is below the national average
- 28: The national ranking of Iowa in spending per student. In 2014, Iowa spent $10,668 per student (adjusted for inflation), lower than the national average of $11,009.
- 16.3: The percentage of total state spending going toward K-12 public education. This percentage is lower than the national average of 19.3%, the plains states region average of 19.7%, and neighboring Minnesota, which spends 25.2% of its total state spending on K-12 public education.
- 13: The percent of Iowa public school students funded at or above the national average
- History of Iowa Public Education Funding
Despite low funding, Iowa public school students and teachers continue to succeed
- 90.8: Graduation rate of Iowa public school students (1st in the nation)
- 22.1: The average ACT composite score for Iowa students, above the national average of 20.8
Please note this time worthy event taking place this Saturday 10/28/17 from 10:30 to 11:30 at University Book and Supply in Cedar Falls
Here are handy links for the Iowa Policy Project event: www.iowapolicyproject.org
******RSVP to email@example.com, or by mail to the Iowa Policy Project,
20 E Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245, or by phone at (319) 338-0773.
Here’s the pdf to print/fill out and mail: Iowa policy Project Oct 23
*******Attention residents and customers of Cedar Falls Utilities! Updated info and note from CFU:“As a community owned utility, we know it is important to listen to our customer-owners. We benefit from customer input every day as we provide service over the phone or in your homes.Every two years, we conduct a customer survey to measure how we are doing. We encourage you to fill out the 2017 survey. 5,500 randomly selected customers will be mailed a survey in October.
If you do not receive a mailed survey, you are still invited to participate. You can find the survey online at www.cfu.net/survey. It is available from September 25 to October 18.”– Take a moment to take the online CFU survey: www.cfu.net/survey
Senator Chuck Grassley Holds Town Hall in Boone // Register via this Facebook link:
Let Your Voice Be Heard for Community Improvements in Cedar Falls
This Main Street project is in the early stages. Preliminary design concepts have been presented to the City Council (see the annotated diagram below) in late summer. The next step in the project is to gain approval for a design contract which will yield greater detail and feasibility of various options. Following that process and additional public input, there would eventually be a council vote.
While the project is at the conceptual stage, it will be important for those in favor of a bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly design to be heard now and as the project progresses. Please scroll down for schematics proposed 8/23/17. Main_Street_V2_SchematicUPDATED
Gerrymandering: A Threat to Democracy?
Thanks to all who attended the Learn to Lead //Running for Office event today. We were so engaged were forgot to take a photo! We had great questions from the attendees and great information generously provided by our panel members. Special thanks to our moderator, Mary Smith for her great work and to the panel members for taking the time to share your knowledge.
Stay tuned for more ways to engage!
Do you know someone who you think would be a great
candidate to run for a local or state office? Or, do you want to run?
Save the date and invite your friends to this event. Please note: We will only be discussing the nuts and bolts of running for office. It is a non-partisan event in that we will not be discussing current legislation, etc. Just the basic experiences of each panelist and how to run for office.
Have you ever considered running for public office? Yes, YOU!
Now is a good moment to consider listening to that inner voice, whether it speaks with conviction or just offers a hunch. Come find out more at a free event organized by Cedar Valley Activate—“Learn to Lead: Running for Public Office”—on Saturday, June 10 from 2pm to 4pm at [complete and correct address, which I can’t seem to find anywhere in notes or correspondence]. This is a non-partisan event designed to educate the community about what it takes to run for public office at the school board, city, county and state level. If you are half interested, we’ve got the other half!
The program will feature a panel of current and former elected officials who will address the basics of preparing and executing a campaign. There will be opportunities to hear experienced individuals walk through the steps and give tips based on their experiences. This will be an opportunity to ask questions, and to pick up materials regarding open seats, campaign deadlines, and other information. If you have concerns about time commitments, costs, or other vulnerabilities, this session might help alleviate them. Some panelists will have time afterwards to visit with you individually.
Register for the event here:
- Bill Dotzler, sitting State Senator, District 31
- Doris Kelley, former State Representative, District 60, Representing 50/50 by 2020
- Bob Kressig, sitting Representative, Iowa State House, District 59
- John Miller, former Chair, Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors
- Mark Miller, sitting Member, Cedar Falls City Council, Ward 1
- Chris Schwartz, sitting Black Hawk County Supervisor
- Susie Hines, member, Cedar Falls School Board
Topics to be addressed include:
- how and why our panelists got into elected office
- budgets & fundraising
- petitions & recruiting supporters
The future depends on recruiting principled candidates, not just recruiting voters. Cedar Valley Activate offers a good ready-made nucleus of support to help jump-start your campaign. Come explore with us!
Here’s that link again:
More news on engaging with your elected officials:
Congressman Blum Announces May Town Hall Details
May 8 Dubuque, May 9 Cedar Rapids,
May 10 Cedar Falls, May 11 Marshalltown
Dubuque, IA – Congressman Rod Blum (IA-01) announced today venue and registration details for four town halls to be held May 8-11. Constituents of Iowa’s 1st District can RSVP to attend the town halls at blum.house.gov/townhall, at the links below, or by calling Representative Blum’s DC office at 202-225-2911.
May 8th – 7PM
Dubuque Senior High School Nora Gym – RSVP
1800 Clarke Drive, Dubuque, IA
May 9th – 7PM
Kirkwood Community College Johnson Hall Gym – RSVP
6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids, IA
May 10th – 7PM
Cedar Falls High School Gym – RSVP
1015 Division Street, Cedar Falls, IA
May 11th – 12PM
Marshalltown Community College Babe Harder Gym – RSVP
3700 South Center Street, Marshalltown, IA
On a day that was full of other events (basketball games, political forums, etc.) so many people showed up to connect and engage with groups that are busy making life better for everyone in the Cedar Valley. We had great music supplied by a very talented jazz trio, snacks donated by CVA members, and lots of good conversations going on about how we can come together and work for the betterment of all in the Cedar Valley. Stay tuned as CVA comes up with other ways to engage.
We will be posting links to all the groups that participated today in case you lost contact information. (Please be patient with this linking. A volunteer adds information asap. Thanks.)
▪ THIS EVENT IS a way to become involved and active in improving the Cedar Valley
▪ Learn about issues and better engage elected officials
▪ Meet other area residents who want to become involved
Here’s a flyer you can print out to post: CVA-ConnectEngageFairFlyer4
● Raising the minimum wage in
Black Hawk County 2:15 PM // Mike Owen & Peter Fisher
● Issues surrounding school vouchers 3 PM // Scott Ellison, Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations, specializes in global and national trends in education policy
● Improving your communications with elected officials & local media 3:45 PM // Jim O’Loughlin
● Energy planning for climate stability 4:15 PM // Eric Giddens & Kamyar Enshayan
FEATURES many Cedar Valley organizations
ISSUES WE FOCUS ON:
▪ Children’s Well Being
▪ Community Planning
▪ Diversity and Inclusion
▪ Energy and Climate Action
CENTER FOR ENERGY &
University of Northern Iowa
Jennings Drive Cedar Falls, IA (click on link for Google Maps)
Parking in gravel lot across the street
FIND US ON FACEBOOK:
Cedar Valley Activate
Email Eric Giddens: e_giddens(at)yahoo.com
Phone/Text: (Three One Nine)-230-0578
***See right sidebar for organizations coming to this event
***Please check out our Engaging Elected Officials page
for upcoming events for engagement.
Save the Date for our next gathering:
Cedar Valley Connect and Engage Fair
Date & Time: February 25 2-5 PM
Location: CEEE building on the UNI Campus
Update: Thank you for a great turn out! Stay tuned for our next gathering.
Share you ideas/initiatives you would like to activate in the Cedar Valley and
connect with others who share your interests and sense of responsibility to your community.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK!
We look forward to connecting with you.
Feel free to bring a friend!
Email Eric Giddens: firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS EVENT IS AN INVITATION TO INCREASE
everyone’s participation in the Cedar Valley community.
We are citizens who are interested in discussing, planning and
working on challenges facing our
community that include these topics:
▪ Children’s Well Being
▪ Community Planning
▪ Diversity and Inclusion
▪ Energy and Climate Action
This is an opportunity to:
Connect with others who share your interests and sense of responsibility to your community
More Citizen Participation = Stronger Democracy = Stronger Community