Greetings from Capitol Hill:
Iowa is the #1 Rated State in the United States:
Iowa was rated the number one state to reside in according to the U.S. News and World Report. The U.S. News and World Report based their ratings on education, health care, infrastructure, economy, opportunity, crime, fiscal stability, and quality of life that would be beneficial for citizens.
Iowa ranked highly in several categories:
• #1 in Infrastructure
• #3 in Health Care
• #4 in Opportunity
• #5 in Education
• #9 in Quality of Life
It was noted that Iowa has tremendous broadband access, which is needed in our state due to the agriculture base. Director of Iowa’s Economic Development Authority, Debi Durham, added that Iowa has a low unemployment rate and high gross domestic product growth, which ranked in the top 10 for the nation. One of the improvements we are trying to make as legislators along with the Iowa Economic Development Authority is to attract young people to stay in Iowa to start their families.
In recent reports Iowa was rated:
• #1 state for middle class families
• #1 state in high school graduation rates
• #3 best managed state
• #4 in k-12 funding increases
• #4 state for retirees
Bills Passed in the Iowa House:
• HF2280 removes the requirement that teacher preparation students pass an exam to complete their program. The state of Iowa used the praxis exam series, which required students to pass a content area exam and a pedagogy exam. Students used to have to score above the 25th percentile nationally, and the Department of Education shows that 96 percent of Iowa’s future teachers passed the test above the 25th percentile. I believe that eliminating the praxis exam was a good choice by our legislators because it is not fair to spend the money for a four year degree and not be able to become a teacher. I had a few constituents reach out to me and let me know that the praxis test stood in the way of their dream to teach.
• HF2253 subjects any lease-purchased building or construction project by any governmental entity that exceeds the minimum bid threshold to be subject to the competitive bidding requirements of chapter 26. I firmly believe that anytime we spend government money we should utilize competitive bidding for any construction project.
• HF2354. This bill takes steps to protect student data privacy as the student’s data and personal information is used in the K-12 school setting for educational purposes. This bill defines what a school may or may not do with student based information and the selling of that information to 3rd parties. Covered information includes personally identifiable information or information that is linked in any media format. The bill states that an operator should not knowingly engage in targeted advertising or use information gathered about students for profit. I believe that this bill will protect our children and allow them to have an education free from targeted advertising.
On Tuesday, March 6, I met with staff members of Iowa Lakes Community College and North Iowa Area Community College. We talked about funding for Iowa community colleges and the benefit of community colleges for students. I fully support our state’s community colleges and will continue to do what I can to help these students.