Supporting the Growth and Success of Des Moines’ Students

As the 2018 session of the Iowa General Assembly approaches, Des Moines Public Schools will advocate for public policies to support the district’s diverse student body, from expanding the support for English Language Learners (the fastest growing student body at DMPS) to expanding our successful preschool programs.

The following legislative priorities for 2018 are being supported by Des Moines Public Schools:

  • EXPAND SUPPORT FOR OUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS: Extend weighted English Language Learner (ELL) funding from five years to seven years per pupil, in accordance with evidence-based practice. Additional flexibility in funds and blending funds should also be considered to meet the diverse needs of ELL students and families. Click here to read more about ELL.
  • EXPAND PRESCHOOL FUNDING FOR CHILDREN IN POVERTY: Increase in weighted funding in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program (SWVPP) for children living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($40,180 for a family of three). Allowing flexible spending of preschool dollars will enhance our ability to meet the diverse and unique needs of the district. Click here to read more about preschool funding.
  • EXTEND SAVE SALES TAX FOR SCHOOLS: School buildings in Des Moines average over 65 years old, so we continue to have a great need for security updates, repairs and renovations; in some cases, even new buildings. Because we have reached the bonding ceiling for the current Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) money, it is critical that action be taken to either remove or extend the sunset. Click here to read more about the sales tax.
  • REVISE AT-RISK AND DROP-OUT PREVENTION FUNDING: It is time for Iowa to change its At-Risk and Drop-Out Prevention funding formula to be needs-driven. Such a change will more efficiently and effectively reach those students most in need of these support, and as a result enhance student success in Des Moines and across Iowa.


Want your voice to be heard in support of education? Want to make a difference in building support for our public schools?

Join the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team. Made up of parents and other community members who recognize the need for more awareness of how specific legislative actions affect our schools, the team actively advocate for policies that increase student success.

Visit the Community Legislative Action Team web page to learn more about their work, get a schedule of upcoming meetings, join their mailing list, and more.