Public school advocates lobby legislators at IASB Day on the Hill

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nearly 200 school board members, superintendents and parents attended the Iowa Association of School Board’s (IASB) annual Day on the Hill. Attendees from 78 districts and four area education agencies from across Iowa traveled to the Iowa State Capitol to make their voices heard on important education issues.

This is the first year that IASB has collaborated with Parents for Great Iowa Schools, a parental advocacy group, to invite parents to attend advocacy training and join education leaders lobbying at the Capitol. Parental advocacy is an essential part of advocating for public schools and parents have a significant impact on legislators, just like school board members.

Attendees first met for advocacy training, budget updates and legislative briefings with IASB staff. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke on her education priorities and also answered questions. Two former speakers of the house, Brent Siegrist and Christopher Rants, were on hand to answer questions and offer insights on how to effectively lobby legislators.

Following their morning of training, participants went to the Capitol focused on educating legislators about issues important to

Iowa public schools:

• Extension of the state penny sales tax for school infrastructure and property tax relief.

• Timely and adequate school funding.

• A long-term solution to create equity in school transportation funding IASB Board President Joan Corbin noted that there has never been a more important time to advocate on behalf of public education, especially with potential momentum to extend the state penny for school infrastructure, known in law as SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education).

“The statewide penny for school infrastructure is equitable, community driven and sustainable. However, it is set to expire in 2029. We are asking our legislators to extend the state penny-this will ensure that Iowa students have access to safe, modern and accessible facilities and 21st century technology.”