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2015 Legislative Priorities

​The following 2015 Legislative Priorities each originated as key priority issues during the July Regional meetings.  The Legislative Group worked carefully on this language as submitted to the RSAI members at the annual meeting.  The members at the annual meeting approved this slate of priorities on Oct 25, 2014:

  1. Transportation Equity:  Supports a mechanism that covers school transportation costs with state and/or local funding that does not unreasonably disadvantage property tax payers in property poor districts or compete with general funds otherwise spent on providing education to students.
  2. State Penny for School Infrastructure Extension: When the State Penny for School Infrastructure was created in 2008, the legislation put in place a Dec. 31, 2029 sunset. That was a legitimate 20-year timeframe that matched the typical bonding period for property-tax backed construction projects. State penny has helped schools address the age-old problem of equity and adequacy for school facilities. 
  3. PPEL Consistency:  The repair of items allowed to be purchased with PPEL funds should also be an allowable PPEL fund expense. 
  4. Funding and Flexibility for At-risk Students:  Resources for serving at-risk students should be based on need, such as the number/percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch, rather than enrollment of the district. Districts should be given flexibility in determining the expenditure of at-risk resources to support students to graduate college/career ready for success.
  5. State Supplemental Assistance 6%:   RSAI supports a goal to get Iowa’s investment in education to the national average. Iowa is now more than $1,700 per pupil below the USA average level of expenditure. Funding per pupil for the 2015-16 school year must be determined ASAP as the 2015 Session convenes and set at an adequate level, no lower than 6%.  Per Iowa law, funding for the 2016-17 school year must be set within 30 days of the Governor’s budget announcement in the 2015 Session.  RSAI supports a per pupil increase for 2016-17 no lower than 6%. 
  6. Operational Sharing Incentives:  Opportunities to achieve efficiencies, share capacity to operate, and redirect resources to educational programs, should be maintained and expanded to provide additional capacity to school districts to improve educational outcomes for students. 

2015 Legislative Session​