Regain Status as a Leader in Education and Invest in the Future Workforce

Posted December 13, 2021

A strong education system that aligns with the needs of the business community is critical to meeting our region’s workforce needs. Iowa must support innovative education initiatives and programs that develop the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. We must also expand employer involvement in the development of workforce programs that align with PK-12, community colleges, universities, and private institutions to build Iowa’s talent pipeline and attract the best and brightest to our state.

We must also regain our reputation as the best education system in the nation by promoting and rewarding high-quality teachers, tracking student progress, investing in continuing education training programs, and expanding affordable early childhood education options. In addition, longstanding race-based education gaps continue to exist at all levels, from early childhood and K-12 to postsecondary education and on-the-job training. These education gaps perpetuate inequalities in employment, income, and wealth development and must be addressed as Iowa’s population continues to become more diverse.

Policy Solutions Federal Policy State Policy
Support funding Future Ready Iowa initiatives, including the Employer Innovation Fund and Last-Dollar Scholarship program, without diverting funding from other local and state efforts to build our talent pipeline. *
Support funding requests and research grants for the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College and protect the Iowa Tuition Grant so more residents have the option to enroll at Iowa’s private institutions. * 
Support innovative teaching in public PK-20 schools and a next-gen assessment system designed to measure learning skills to better align students with the skills demanded of Iowa’s workforce.
Support additional resources and programs that certify teachers for computer science training, increase STEM classes for middle and high school students, and address the increased demand for high school student internships and teacher externships.
Support policies that modernize and improve the education funding formula in a way that serves all school districts and students and allows school boards to effectively manage their financial resources.
Incentivize more effective and efficient partnerships between education and workforce systems and support employer-led earn and learn opportunities, including apprenticeships.
Support robust funding for financial aid programs so post-secondary degrees and certifications become attainable at all learning institutions.
Increase funding for the children’s mental health system within our public schools to provide for more therapeutic classrooms and other challenging behavior services.

(* Featured Priority)

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