Iowa school officials caution new law could harm students, districts – Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska 2022-07-04 13:49:01 –

School officials in Iowa are concerned that the new “Parental Choice” law will hinder the district’s ability to raise funds and plan annual budgets, ultimately affecting students.

Students attending public schools in Iowa can now enroll in any district at any time of the year. When students leave, more than $ 7,000 received in the state-funded school district will disappear with them.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law earlier this month that included policy measures to lift the March 1 public admission deadline for public schools. The law came into force soon and is now questioning the district’s business operations.

Jon Hueser, director of the Lu Verne Community School District, proposed a bill and The last moment of the legislative session..

“There was no debate anywhere until that point when we eliminated it,” Huser said. “So it’s a kind of backhand for me. If you make such a big change, you shouldn’t do it at the last minute and everyone should expect it to be okay.”

The Iowa school district is expected to return the per-student funds to the state if the student chooses to transfer from the school district after the classroom count is complete. Conversely, school districts that accept transfer students will not receive additional funding for additional students until the enrollment count for the next school year is counted. If the classroom is full, the host district can also refuse to accept transfer students.

Budget process changes

Casey Belllau, director of the Carroll Community School District, said the biggest change was the transfer of funds from one school district to the next when students left.

“Because we can see children moving to different schools many times during the first grade, there will be more work to ensure that accurate records are recorded in the student information system,” says Berlau. .. “You might pay to one district in the first half of this year and another in the second half of this year, but until now you didn’t have to.”

Hueser said it’s still too early to tell how the changes will affect registration, but it poses challenges for the district’s business department.

“You basically removed the boundaries of the school and removed the people who had to submit things in a timely manner,” Huser said. “We must always submit things in a timely manner in education, and now how do you prepare for things when they can move at any time?”

According to Tammy Botaba, Communications Director of the Iowa Board of Education, the school district’s final budget for determining staffing funding needs is expected by April 15, but these figures are expected. You may need to be based on your registration. The number of transfer students is currently unknown and remains unresolved after the school district signs a contract.

“Abolishing the open registration deadline could negatively impact the district’s ability to hire and responsibly budget teachers based on registration,” Votava said in an email reply to Iowa Capital Dispatch. Said.

Mike Veranek, president of the Iowa Education Association, said public schools are a major financial driver in many Iowa communities. It’s too early to predict the effects of the new law, but he said that if a building or district were closed, that community would be hit hard, especially in the rural communities.

“Enacted laws that can affect the school district’s financial position need to be scrutinized before signing the law,” says Beranek. “In some of our local school districts, losing 20 students in an adjacent school district can be said to cause great financial damage to the district that loses students. Therefore, how to punish public schools and communities. Instead of looking for ways to strengthen and build those schools. “

Number of students opening since 2011 Increased, The number of transfers in the fall of 2019 and 2020 is the highest. Of the 327 school districts, 54% reduced their net open registrations in 2021, according to the Iowa Board of Education.

Veranek said learning losses can occur during the transition period between transfers, even though all schools teach at the same level of education.

“Therefore, the possibility of bouncing from district to district can adversely affect the student’s academic performance,” Beranek said.

Iowa’s previous public registration law puts a child in the district after the March 1 deadline if the district repeatedly experiences harassment that the district cannot adequately deal with, also known as providing a “just cause”. Provided parents or guardians with the ability to move from.

Parents can challenge a rejected open registration request in connection with harassment, serious health, or the school district’s failure to meet the student’s academic needs.

Director Todd Letou said the lack of registration deadlines for the school district will not change significantly, as the CAL community school district in north-central Iowa has never interfered with anyone wishing to transfer.

“My philosophy is always to create the school and environment that children want to go to, and the problem of children wanting to leave takes care of themselves,” said Letow. “If you hug people against their will, they probably won’t be so happy, and that’s negative to the cultural climate you’re trying to create.”

Hueser, director of Lu Verne, said the change would change the registration to “Wild West” and put a heavy burden on the school district.

“Now they are [students] You can always move many times, which is not good, “Hueser said. “I don’t know what happened there, so I don’t know why they made the change.”

Parliamentarians’ thoughts on shortening the deadline

Democratic Party during legislative debate Raise concerns About the imbalanced impact of this measure on the budgeting process of small local school districts.

“It’s a shame because I really believe this could destroy our little school,” said Mary Mascher, Congressman of D-Iowa City. “They can’t cope with such fluctuations. It’s a problem when they can’t determine what their registration will be in the fall.”

Republicans argued that when a controversial curriculum was announced after the deadline, parents in metropolitan areas felt “trapped” in the district. “Parents have the option of not being honestly told what the curriculum is and that some schools maintain the controversial curriculum after the March 1 deadline. “No,” said Senator Brad Zaun of R-Urbandale. KCCI-TV..

On the house floor, Congressman Gary Moor dismissed concerns about the district budget. “This is a people’s rule. It gives parents and students a choice, not a school district. It’s not money,” he says. Said.

ISEA’s Beranek states that he has only seen true quality education, which is the envy of many states across the country, across states visiting classrooms in Iowa.

“I have been to our community leaders, faith, to help our elected officials understand that continued attacks on public education will have disastrous consequences for schools throughout Iowa. We strongly believe that we need leaders, citizen leaders, and business owners based on the community in which those schools live, “Bellaneck said. “I believe the entire community needs to step up, show support for our educators and schools, and work together to reach out to the vast majority of people in Iowa. . “

Iowa Capital Dispatch Is part of the States Newsroom, a network of news stations supported by grants and a 501c (3) coalition of donors as a public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editing independence. If you have any questions, please contact the editor Kathie Obradovich: Follow IowaCapitalDispatch Facebook When twitter..

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Iowa school officials caution new law could harm students, districts Source link Iowa school officials caution new law could harm students, districts

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