Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed House File 215 into law, ushering in sweeping educational reform that will ultimately return Iowa's schools to a national leader.
The governor held his signing ceremony at North High School in Des Moines, where he praised the efforts of the many individuals across the state who helped shape the landmark reform.
"The 2013 education reform bill promises to provide all Iowa schools with the support they need to significantly raise student achievement," said Branstad. "Change is never easy. But it was particularly painful that we had to acknowledge that Iowa slipped over the past two decades from a national leader in education to the middle of the pack."
Reynolds noted the value Iowans place in strong schools.
"This landmark legislation speaks to how much Iowans value the importance of giving their children a world-class education," said Reynolds. "It is the result of an extraordinary effort by many leaders over the past several years to reach agreement on the changes needed to restore Iowa schools to best in the nation and give Iowa's students a globally competitive education."
Major components of the legislation include:
· The governor's goal of transformational, systemic education reform
· Making the teaching profession more attractive with leadership roles and higher pay
· Creates a new process that calls for reliable student assessments that move us toward better teacher evaluations with student achievement growth as one component
· Historic school choice legislation that offers independent accreditation for private schools and strengthens home-school freedoms
· Changes the school finance formula so that "allowable growth" is replaced by 100% state aid