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PostPosted: September 20 17, 1:11 pm 
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A few more things happened since I started this thread. First, a group of high school students, teachers and others went to Des Moines and lobbied the Iowa senate on this issue. They were really receptive and even got Republicans on board. They passed a bill 47-1 that would have slowly brought the lagging districts up to the same funding level as the others over a period of 10 years. It would have also given more transportation funds to rural districts, whose buses have much longer routes. Then the Iowa House refused to take up the bill because it was "too expensive". The reason it's too expensive is because of the business tax cuts they passed in recent years.

After that, the Iowa Board of Education Examiners finally filed an ethics charge against our superintendent for breaking state law. He just responded to it, saying they should drop it in its entirety. The hearing is scheduled for early February. We are looking at getting some kind of rally going on or before that date to show our support.

If we want to make this a more generic "public education" thread, here was a pretty good (and long) article about public schools in Arizona, who is leading the way on vouchers that can be used for home school or private schools.

Class Dismissed: When a state divests from public education


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PostPosted: March 7 18, 4:16 pm 
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So our Republican governor is coming to my town tomorrow to sign a bill that sort of addresses the problem in this thread, but not 100%. They are finally doing something to equalize the amount our district (and others like ours) get per student. But it still doesn't make funding equal to other districts, but just less unequal. And regardless, they are underfunding ALL schools. I guess it's better than nothing. But people are still going to protest since it doesn't address the full problem.


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PostPosted: April 25 18, 7:43 am 
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So despite acknowledging the law was bad and changing it, the state is still bringing ethics charges against our superintendent. It's so asinine. The superintendant also announced he's retiring after next school year. Instead of ethics charges he should get honored in some way IMO.


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PostPosted: May 1 18, 10:43 am 
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This ordeal has taken an unexpected and awful turn. A new issue has been exposed. It's only indirectly related to the original one, but it's bad.

http://wqad.com/2018/04/30/state-audit- ... -programs/

The school district was putting way too many students of color into the special needs program. They were also punishing those same students way more often than white students in the same program. And they also didn't have documented education action plans for all these special needs kids. There have been reports that special needs kids were being put literally in cages in schools in Iowa City as punishment, and rumors it was happening here. I've been all around my kids' school and didn't see anything like that but maybe it's at one of the other schools. Or maybe they hide it well or I'm in denial.

There is a group of white parents that are very irate about this. Some of them claim they have kids that are special needs and I have to take their word for it. They claim the superintendent mis-used funds, but I don't know the details of this claim. I'm sure all this chaos is not good for the white kids in this program either, but it just feels like these white parents have an ulterior motive. One of the more prominent people in this group talked about moving to a cloud-white suburb for better schools (a.k.a. white flight). That's why I'm doubting this is all an act of solidarity with these black students. There are no black parents anywhere to be seen complaining about this problem yet. Either they are quietly organizing something, or they are too beaten down to do anything.

My gut feel is that the superintendent is right and lack of funds are the biggest problem here, but it's also clear that he did a really poor job of handling the situation. It looks like minorities and marginalized people ended up getting the short end of the stick, like always.


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PostPosted: May 8 18, 8:18 am 
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Now the disctrict is considering 4 different plans to close different schools and save money. One involves closing one of the 3 public high schools! You know darn well it would be the inner city one that they'd close. Another plan involves closing the grade school in my neighborhood. My town is like 87% white, but our public schools are only 55% white. I didn't realize it was that out of whack. I guess more families have fled to the suburbs or enrolled in private schools than I thought.


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