2014 Legislative Priorities
Des Moines Public Schools wishes to engage legislators and executive branch leaders to identify and implement ways in which changes to state law and/or administrative rules will assist Iowa’s largest provider of public education improve the academic success of our students.
Priorities for DMPS in the 2014 session of the Iowa General Assembly and beyond include:
SUPPORT FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
At Des Moines Public Schools, more than 5,800 students, or almost 18% of enrollment, are English Language Learners, speaking nearly 100 different languages and dialects.
- Continue support for expanded opportunities for Iowa’s growing population of ELL students.
- Expand weighted ELL funding for up to a maximum of seven years (beyond the additional fifth year approved by the legislature in 2013) and move Iowa’s weighted ELL funding closer to the national average of .30.
- Consider a two-tiered weighting system for ELL to acknowledge low-income needs.
- Create a longitudinal data collection, analysis and reporting system to provide schools, policy makers and agencies with information to help improve ELL outcomes.
Des Moines Public Schools serves a student body that is increasingly diverse by every measure whose needs are not always best served by well-intentioned programs.
- Increase flexibility in the use of at-risk allowable growth and other state categorical funds.
ACCESS TO EARLY CHILDHOOD OPPORTUNITIES
Des Moines Public Schools serves more than 2,500 preschoolers with both the need and capacity to increase access and expand services.
- Expand support to Iowa’s four-year old universal preschool program, such as full-day programming and transportation for students impacted by poverty.
- Make rules and guidelines more consistent between various state-funded early childhood programs.
COLLEGE CREDIT COST EFFECTIVENESS
Des Moines Public Schools offers a wide array of college-credit opportunities for high school students, an important part of our work to help students become college and career ready.
- Allow public school districts to develop shared programming agreements with Iowa community colleges and/or four-year colleges or universities in Iowa based on what best serves the district’s academic and financial needs.