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Pat Grassley newsletter

January 27, 2013
Pat Grassley - State Representative , Reinbeck Courier

As a new session begins, I appreciate the trust and confidence you have put in me to be your representative. It's an honor to represent Grundy County, Northern Hardin County, and Southern Butler County in the Iowa House and I will do my best to represent the views of our district. I am beginning my fourth term in the Iowa House and will be serving as the Chair of the Agriculture Committee. I come to Des Moines to make the hard decisions and do what's best for the people back home, not the Des Moines' special interests.

Education Reform Proposal

For my first newsletter, I am focusing on education reform. This is an important topic and I am interested in your thoughts of what education reform should look like. While this is the governor's proposal, the bill will go through the legislative process and will probably have some changes. The Governor released this plan for his Education Reform proposal last week. The Education Committee assigned the bill to a subcommittee of seven legislators on Tuesday and they will begin subcommittee meetings next week. The bill consists of five components:

1. Teacher Leadership and Compensation phases in over three years

o Raises base teacher salaries from $28,000 to $35,000

o Creates career pathways for teachers

Initial Teacher 0-2 years, formal evaluations annually

Career Teacher full time in classroom

Model Teacher full time in classroom, classroom is open to observation by others, contract extended 5 days and $2,000 minimum additional salary

Mentor Teacher 75% in the classroom, 25% developing other teachers, contract extended 10 days and $5,000 minimum additional salary

Lead Teacher 50% in the classroom, 50% developing other teachers, contract extended 15 days and $10,000 additional salary

Emeritus Retired teachers, don't work full time or have their own classroom, but can fill in as Mentor, Lead, or fill other roles as needed

o Creates residency year for new teachers with reduced teaching load and increased learning opportunities

o Provides incentives for teacher to teach in high-needs schools

2. Teach Iowa Initiative

o Tuition Reimbursement $4,000/year ($20K max) for top students who commit to teach in Iowa for five years

o Hard-to-Hire subjects Priority tuition reimbursement to hard-to-hire subjects, like STEM

o Student Teaching Pilot Extends student teaching during senior year from one semester to a full year

o Jobs Board Creates a state-wide education job posting system

3. Iowa Promise Diploma Seals

o Creates optional diploma seals that designate a graduate as career or college-ready

o Goal to provide automatic college entry or hiring preference at participating businesses

4. Educator Development System

o Updates teacher and administrator standards and evaluations

o Gives the Department of Education the authority to develop and implement an evaluation framework that uses three different performance levels and factors in student outcomes

5. Iowa Learning Online

o Provides funding to expand Iowa Learning Online offerings

o Iowa Learning Online provides online classes on a class-by-class basis to school districts

In addition to my Listening Posts, I have produced this newsletter called The Grassley Bulletin to keep you informed of the issues going on at the Capitol. The Bulletin is distributed to local newspapers and interested constituents. I encourage you to contact me at any time throughout the year with any issues or concerns. Whether I am down in Des Moines or on the farm in New Hartford, remember that I work for you. Without your input, I cannot properly represent your views. I look forward to hearing from you this legislative session, and I am excited to begin my work for the people of House District 50.



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