Gov. Branstad Signs Education Reform Bill

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KIMT NEWS 3 – With a simple signature, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signs sweeping education reforms into law.

It’s a bill several years in the making and is giving local school officials something to cheer about.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anita Micich said, “If you want to have world-class schools, you have to invest in them.”

That long process has been frustrating, but Dr Micich says she’s relieved to have a clear-cut budget.

She said, “They’ve set allowable growth for 2% for next year and then 4% for 2014 – 2015, which is really how it’s supposed to work.”

One local state representatives says this reform bill is progress, but as a state,we can do better.

State Representative, Sharon Steckman said, “We have great teachers working wonderfully in classrooms, but they don’t have a lot of the resources they need right now to really help them. They need more planning time together and we need smaller class sizes.”

Steckman says having more funding for competency based exams will help those teachers push their students.

Steckman said, “Kids show their competency in fields by doing other things besides taking the paper and pencil test. They show it by actually exhibiting that particular skill in something they’re doing or working on.”

By testing beyond the books, Steckman hopes we’ll continue to find more ways to invest in the states education system.

She said, “They are the best investment we can make for our state. I mean,when you talk about economic growth, if you have an educated, top-notch work force, that’s economic growth.”

The bill is a small victory for the education system, but now it’s time to figure out how each aspect will fit into the school districts.

Micich said, “It’s going to take us some time to think and to get through all the pieces of what’s in the bill and really know how this is going to impact us. So we’re all kind of studying it and taking a look at it.”

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