Many have asked about the school start date issue and the rule that has been working its way through the Dept. of Ed and State Board of Education. Here is a brief update:
First, IACS has always opposed every effort to restrict local control of start dates. IACS believes that educators, elected school boards, and private schools should be able to make these types of determinations based on what’s best for students, schedules, and unique local issues. No industry group or event should be able to make education policy decisions based on attendance goals or desired profit-margins.
On August 1, the State Board of Education made the wise decision to vote down a proposed rule that the Department wrote to try to bridge the gap between how some interpret the law and educators. This rule unfairly discriminated against private schools by excluding them from the waiver process and went too far in restricting local control on this issue. You can click here for the story on the Board’s decision. We thank them for their vote!
Where do we go from here? Governor Branstad weighed in on the issue on August 5 and we agree with him that stakeholders need to be involved. IACS will not, however, support any rule or legislation that puts the wants of industry ahead of the needs of our kids or continues the disturbing trend toward erasing local control or the will of the people as exercised through the decisions of elected local school boards or the administration at their private school.
Please feel free to comment with your thoughts!