Public education lines have been drawn. Time to pick a side

State Senator Claire Celsi: “Governor Reynolds has chosen private schools over the public schools 92 percent of Iowa’s children attend.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds’ private school and voucher activism has gone from coy to brazen. Simply entertaining “Secretary of Education” Betsy DeVos at the state capitol is a signal. Reynolds has never been a credible supporter of public education and now has publicly chosen a side. She chooses the 8 percent of Iowans whose kids attend private schools over the 92 percent who attend public schools. Reynolds has thrown down the gauntlet.

Now, an important question for you. Yes, YOU. Sitting in your comfy chair reading this post. Do you support Iowa’s public schools – or not? Time to make a decision.

Continue Reading...

Iowa lawmakers pass another unconstitutional "Ag Gag" bill

Iowa legislators just can’t quit violating the constitution in the service of livestock farmers and their lobby groups.

Two months after a federal judge comprehensively dismantled Iowa’s 2012 law prohibiting “agricultural production facility fraud,” the state House and Senate approved a bill creating the crime of “agricultural production facility trespass.” Governor Kim Reynolds has indicated she will sign the legislation. (UPDATE: She signed it on March 14.)

Although the drafters modeled the new bill after portions of an Idaho statute that survived a legal challenge, federal courts could and should strike down this law. Like the previous “ag gag” legislation, its primary purpose is to suppress speech reflecting certain viewpoints.

Continue Reading...

Join the battle for the soul of public education in Iowa

State Senator Claire Celsi sounds the alarm about a horrible bill that would benefit school administrators but would be very bad for Iowa children. -promoted by Laura Belin

The 2019 legislative session started off with a whimper as Republicans approved inadequate public education funding once again. Governor Kim Reynolds’ 2.3 percent budget request for K-12 funding was meet with an even less impressive proposal in the House and Senate – 2.06 percent. The House and Senate Democrats and Iowa State Education Association all suggested 3.0 percent and were voted down in short order.

Let me be clear: 2.06 percent is below the rate of inflation and not adequate. The result will be more layoffs, program cuts and more desperation to make ends meet in school districts all over the state.

Continue Reading...

The intersection of anti-choice warriors and misogyny

Matt Chapman: “The need to control women is what this is about, and the rage stems from a perception of impotency, caused by that lack of control.” -promoted by Laura Belin

It was impossible to miss the sea of white the Democratic women of the U.S. House wore to the State of the Union address on Tuesday. It was a nod to the suffragettes, who paved the way to winning the right to vote on August 26, 1920, and a celebration of the record-breaking diversity of the 116th United States Congress sworn in on January 23, 2019, almost one hundred years later.

Yet reminders of how far there still is to go echoed throughout the chamber. While President Donald Trump acknowledged the record-breaking number of women legislators elected, it took a moment for the modern-day suffragettes to stand and applaud. His praise was unwelcome, due to his history of misogyny.

Continue Reading...

Representative Bobby Kaufmann lives in a glass House

A GOP lawmaker’s outrage rings hollow when we’ve repeatedly seen Iowa Republicans push policies they never campaigned on. -promoted by Laura Belin

On the Iowa House State Government Committee’s agenda for January 22, a presentation by Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) CEO Donna Mueller and a special announcement by the committee’s Republican chair Bobby Kaufmann was scheduled for 11:00 am.

Kaufmann had stated at a forum in December, “There will be zero IPERS bills, period. End of story. End of discussion. No tweaks, no changes.” James Q. Lynch from the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that Kaufmann also plainly stated in his newsletter, “I said it before the election and I will say it again: There will unequivocally not be changes to IPERS.”

Continue Reading...
View More...