It seems the pace of legislative action is picking up in anticipation of the first legislative funnel which is March 8. A bill must have passed at least one committee to remain alive, with the exceptions of Ways and Means and Appropriation bills. The budget subcommittees have turned their attention to presenters offering their thoughts on what the budget priorities should be for this coming year. From
the standpoint of this administrator the hope is to have allowable growth set at a percentage of at least breaking even and to make modifications to the Education Reform bill. The allowable growth needs to be resolved rather quickly so we can prepare and have budgets approved for FY 13-14.

The House Education Committee made significant changes to the governor’s education reform bill. Two of the most significant changes came in a more rigorous assessment process that is aligned with the core standards and will be given to every student in grades 3 – 11. If the Legislature fails to provide sufficient funding, districts would not be required to administer the assessment.

Second, the teacher ladder and compensation program would no longer be a mandate and districts will have greater opportunity to opt into the program.

It is that time of year for basketball fever! Both the boy’s and girl’s teams are having great years and at the printing of this article the girls are one win away from the state tournament. Good luck to all!

This past weekend the IKM-Manning Foundation sponsored another successful youth basketball tournament. All the funds raised go back into the IKM-Manning CSD through mini-grants available to all teachers across the district. A big thank you to all those that volunteered time and supplies to the running of the tournament.

Everyone have a great week!

Yours in education,
Dr. Ward
 
It has been another busy week in the Iowa Legislature working on the Governor’s Education Reform. The
House Education subcommittee completed its review and next week members will begin to discuss the
bill in the full Education Committee. It was passed out of the House subcommittee Tuesday on a party-
line vote. The Senate Education subcommittee will begin review this week. There has been indication
each party will offer amendments to the bill as it reaches the legislative process. As educators we
believe that it is in the best interest of our students, not only in IKM-Manning but across the state for
education reform and the imperative need to include the appropriate funding. What our legislatures
need to do is listen to school leaders with concerns and suggestions to what can be done to improve the
education bill.

Allowable growth still seems to be the issue with the education reform bill. The governor is interested in
changing from the current allowable growth model to a new model of “supplemental state aid,” which
would be depended on state funding. The question with this model is what happens down the road
when the state can’t adequate provide the funds?

Again this is a great time to make those supportive contacts and share your opinions. I greatly
appreciate your help in these matters.

Tournament time is approaching and if you haven’t had the opportunity to get out and see our kids play
this would be a great week as they prepare for the “Road to Des Moines.” Speaking of tournaments the
IKM-Manning Foundation is sponsoring a youth tourney this weekend at all three facilities. Get out and
support the youth of the area.

I would appreciate any comments or concerns. The door is always open, the phone is never busy and I
do look over my e-mails. No excuse on getting in contact with me. Have a great week.

GO WOLVES!!

Yours in education,

Dr. Ward
 
Our legislatures just finished week two of the 2013 legislative session. This week was spent in committee and subcommittee meetings. The House began work on education reform while the Senate turned its attention to four percent allowable growth. What is really distressing to this educator is that the content of education reform is far from being settled, as it appears many legislators have concerns about the tiered teacher leadership system and the cost that could be associated with the system. As I write this update the fact that there is no agreement on allowable growth agreement for FY 14 and FY 15 is distressing, especially when the Central Office is preparing the FY 14 Budget.

Legislators are telling superintendents they need help in working through the technical issues of the Governor’s proposals, as well as setting an allowable growth. Along with this goes how increased allowable growth minimizes property taxes as fewer districts become dependent upon the budget adjustment. The budget adjustment is an adjustment to the regular program district cost of a school district for districts in which the regular program district cost for a year would be less than the regular program cost for the previous year. For IKM-Manning would be a dramatic loss in budget adjustment.

I would like to recognize Mr. Struve and the IKM-Manning Jazz Band for a One Rating over this past weekend. This group of performers is one other reason to attend a home basketball game. They do an outstanding job of entertaining during the games. Also, a high five to Coach Rasmussen and Coach Wagner for both of the basketball teams advancing on to the semi-finals of the WVC Tournament this week at the IKM-Manning Gym. The state tourney is right around the corner.

Questions, concerns or if you just like to discuss any issues give me a call or e-mail tward@ikm-manning.k12.ia.us. Have a great week!

Yours in education,
Dr. Ward