Two Republican trifectas, 50 years apart, reshaped Iowa’s K-12 schools. But whereas the legislature and Governor Robert Ray put public education on a more equitable, better funded path during the early 1970s, this year’s legislative session left public schools underfunded and unable to meet the needs of many marginalized students.
Governor Kim Reynolds capped a devastating year for Iowa’s schools on May 26, when she signed seven education-related bills, including two that will impose many new restrictions while lowering standards for educators and curriculum.
In a written statement, Reynolds boasted, “This legislative session, we secured transformational education reform that puts parents in the driver’s seat, eliminates burdensome regulations on public schools, provides flexibility to raise teacher salaries, and empowers teachers to prepare our kids for their future. Education is the great equalizer and everyone involved—parents, educators, our children—deserves an environment where they can thrive.”
Almost every part of the first sentence is false or misleading.
As for the second sentence, this year’s policies make it less likely that any of the named groups will thrive, aside from a small subset of parents who share the governor’s political and religious outlook.Continue Reading...