Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meeting at IBA

The IAAE Advisory Board will have a meeting on Saturday, May 11 at 9 am in the Sioux City room at the IBA Convention.  This will be mostly a meeting to welcome any new members and to talk over what we have accomplished to date.  In addition, we will discuss the upcoming meeting for the Executive Board and the Advisory Board on June 15.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kennedy Center Advocacy in the Arts Conference

Three members of the IAAE Board attended the Kennedy Center Advocacy in the Arts Conference in Washington, D.C. this spring. They will be sharing their new-found knowledge with members across the state.

David Law, Martha Kroese and Leon Kuehner

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In the Iowa Legislature

This  was the week that the log jams started to be addressed. This was particularly true in the conference committee on education reform.  Wednesday the House made an offer to go to 2% allowable growth plus another 2% increases the first year and 4% allowable growth the second year and use the House passed version of reform. This gives the Senate democrats the funding level it wants and the House GOP the reforms they want. It seems a fair compromise and both sides will have to swallow hard and should accept it. Should the Senate not accept and insist on changes then the funding level no doubt go down or back to 0 for the next two years  We can expect some responses early next week.

You may see the differences in the senate and house versions at

Thursday, April 4, 2013

News from the Iowa Legislature on the Education Bill

From our Lobbyist Cal Hultman:

This week there was a lot of activity on the education reform bill.  The leadership of both chambers and the Gov. office  decided to move ahead with HF 215.  The Senate went to subcommittee on the bill Tuesday morning  and moved it to full committee later that day and there they amended the Senate passed version onto the House bill with a strike all amendment. This went to the full Senate for debate on Wednesday  where the amendment was adopted on party line vote  and the bill was then passed on a party line vote and sent back to the House. They will not concur and send it back to the Senate where they will not recede and then it will go to conference committee. 

The conference committee is made up of 5 from each house with 3 majority and 2 minority each. These are closed conference committees which means all they can discuss are the difference between the two bills and not introduce any new issues that have not been passed by either house in this bill. By rule they have to meet within 24 hours of appointment and begin to work. 

There is no time limit for completion  and I assume they will work hard at it next week and come to resolution in the next two to three weeks.Once the differences are discerned I will try to get them out to you if they are available.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fine Arts/Iowa Core Professional Development

The statewide Fine Arts/Iowa Core professional development sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education is being announced this week.  

Participants will register through the participating AEA for the date they wish to participate.  The day is designed to be presented at no cost to the participant. The day includes a fine arts/Iowa Core overview, history, and supportive research in the a.m. and participatory breakouts by discipline in the p.m.  The afternoon includes lessons, assessments and experience with the fine arts and universal constructs of Iowa Core.

Presenters include Rosanne Malek, Iowa Department of Education, Leon Kuehner, Fine Arts/Iowa Core Professional Development and Materials Developer and member of the IAAE exec board, and writing team members representing the disciplines of general music, vocal/instrumental music, visual art, and drama/theatre.

Wednesday, May 29 – Great Prairie AEA– Ottumwa
Thursday, May 30 – Green Hills AEA – Red Oak

Thursday, June 6  - AEA 267 – Cedar Falls
Friday, June 7 – Great Prairie AEA - Burlington

Monday, June 17 – Keystone AEA - Elkader
Tuesday, June 18 – Prairie Lakes AEA– Fort Dodge – Iowa Central Community College
Friday, June 21 – Mississippi Bend AEA 9 - Bettendorf

Monday, June 24 – Prairie Lakes AEA – Emmetsburg – Iowa Lakes Community College
Thursday, June 27 – Northwest AEA – Sioux City

Friday, March 22, 2013

At the Capitol This Week

There was a lot of floor activity in both chambers this week. The Senate had all of it's members present this week and they were able to pass a number of bills over to the House. One of those passed was their priority on income tax credit. The education committee held hearings on the three Governor appointments to the Board of Regents. These have been controversial and their confirmation by the full Senate is questionable. All appointments, by law must be confirmed or rejected by April 15.
The House also passed a number of bills including three of the seven major appropriation bills. These have not been agreed to by the Senate, so there will be negotiating between the leaders for resolution, or they could end up in a conference committee. The education appropriations bill did include the House version of allowable growth for K-12 in it.
The Senate is still working on it's version of the education reform bill and the House Ways & Means committee passed out their version of the commercial/industrial property tax reform bill. This was a compilation of their original bill and the Governor's bill. It appears that a lot of these issues are moving and that the stage is starting to get set for the compromises and resolution to the differences being made. I think this will begin in earnest right after Easter.
Cal Hultman

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Update from Lobbyist Cal

This is the last full week before the first funnel week which means there have been a lot of subcommittees meeting and very little floor work in either chamber.  The education legislation on allowable growth and K-12 reform has not seen any action.  The House still wants to have 2% allowable growth funded from the general and have this in the reform bill they sent to the Senate.  The Senate is still saying with their 4% allowable growth from property tax Senate passed plan. A real stalemate at this point.  

It has been rumored that the chair of the Senate Education committee is drafting his own K-12 reform bill and
will pass and send this to the House.  This means that we will have two bills that cannot be reconciled with each other.  This is complicated by fact that one of the democrat senators had major surgery and will be out at least two weeks. I takes 26 to pass a bill and the democrats only have 26 so this will have a slowing effect on the process.  Please forward any questions you may have to IAAE President David Law.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

March Proclaimed Arts Education Month

The signing of the governor's proclamation of March as Arts Education Month is set for March 7, 2013 at 3:20pm in the Governor's office. IAAE members are invited to be present for the signing. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

House Passes Ed Reform Bill

After six hours of debate spanning two days, the House approved HF 215 on a party line vote. Over 20 amendments were offered to the bill but changes to the version approved earlier by the subcommittee were slight. A summary of the good, the bad and the ugly is listed below. There are several concerns for teachers. The Senate is expected to significantly alter the bill and the differences will be worked out in a conference committee.  


Summary of HF 215

The Good 

  • Requires the DE to develop a new statewide assessment of student achievement to be aligned with the core curriculum, administered in grades 3 – 11 and to have the appropriate rigor (IASB language)  
  • Requires the balanced use of student achievement data in teacher evaluation;
    - Eliminates the peer review process adopted into law last year;
  • Home rule for school districts;
  • Additional funding for schools identified as high need to help raise student achievement;
  • Pilot project for extended learning opportunities for students in low performing schools;
  • Competency Based Education task force to develop plan and timeline for taking CBE statewide;
  • Lowers the threshold for a district to request aid from the SBRC for transportation costs that exceed 70% of the state average (previously was 125%).

The Bad

  • Requires the DE to develop criteria and establish performance goals to evaluate each attendance center;
    - This provision was inserted at the last moment in the subcommittee process.
    - The DE is to submit its recommendations and report to the state board and the legislature by November 15, 2013;
  • Allows independent accreditation for nonpublic schools;
  • Eliminates state oversight of home school students;
  • Allows home school parents to teach children driver ed.

Mixed Bag

  • Expansion of online learning opportunities for students, BUT gives DE authority to charge fees to use online learning;
  • Certificate of Distinction Program for students who follow specific pathways; this provision is significantly modified from the original proposal for diploma seals;
  • Requires all job openings to be posted on a newly created DE state jobs board. IASB sees this as unnecessary, but it does not allow DE any authority to guide hiring decisions.
  • Requires annual evaluations of teachers and administrators. While not necessarily bad, IASB continues to stress that we need continuity and not continual change in how teachers and administrators are evaluated.
    - Some concerns with the lack of flexibility for districts to design their own evaluation process
  • Sets allowable growth rate at 2% for FY 2014, FY 2015. IASB is pleased with movement on AG but would prefer 4%.
  • Implements governor’s school finance proposal to freeze current funding mix and future growth to be delivered through “supplemental state aid."
    - Freezes property tax inequity into the system. IASB is concerned about loss of stability of future state payments if revenues decline.
    - Growth above current per-pupil amount does not include spending authority.
  • Raises base teacher pay to $32,000 (current law is $28,000).
    - Concern with financial impact on school districts if sufficient funding is not provided.
    -Appears that this figure includes TSS payments.
  • Establishes a career pathway for teachers with the promise of additional payments to teachers who participate.
    -Changes from original proposal provide districts more flexibility and option to participate

Other Provisions

  • Stipends to top students who commit to teach in Iowa for at least five years;
  • Student teaching year-long pilot project;
  • Residency year for new teachers with reduced teaching load and increased learning opportunities;
  • Teach Iowa Marketing & Public Outreach Initiative;

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Education Reform Bill Progress

HF 215, education reform bill, passed the House Wednesday on a party line vote 52-44 with four absent.  The debate went until midnight on Tuesday before they recessed until morning.  The House rules prohibit voting after midnight.  The bill will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.  Hopefully they will work on this bill and amend it to their thinking and not send a separate bill back to the House.

The bill did a number of things including raising the beginning salary to $32,000 from the current $28,000. This is lower than the Governor originally recommended.  The four different types of teachers from beginning teachers to mentors was not mandated to the school districts but rather a local option.

It also set up a campaign to entice teachers into the field by offering a $20,000 tuition reimbursement over 5 years. There will be a certificate of distinction awarded to students who are college "ready".  It expand the "learning on line" program which already exists and the other major thing is an evaluation process for all teachers and administrators.

To view this bill you may go to and enter HF 215.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Update from Our Lobbyist

Both chambers are starting to do some floor work and passage of some bills. The committees all have three more weeks before the first funnel date when bills have to be out of committee in the house of origination. A number of departmental bills are out of committee already and are waiting debate. For the most part these are noncontroversial. Work on the budget continues with daily subcommittee hearings.

The House education committee did pass out the Governor's education reform bill this week with a major amendment. The amendment lowered the beginning salary from $35,000 to $32,000 and made the career path with different levels of teachers an option for local school districts to make. This also was scheduled to pass out of the appropriations and ways and means committees on Thursday. I assume there will be public hearing and then the debate in the full House. The Senate is still in subcommittee on this issue and will start to negotiate with the house once the house passes it in final form.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More about STEAM

The Washington Post has published a repost of the Seven Skills Children Learn from the Arts.... This and several other advocacy articles are available on the Advocacy page of the IAAE Website. Read more...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lobbyist's Report

The House has continued work on the Education reform bill and has passed itout of subcommittee.  It is my understanding the full Education committeewill take it up next week.  This means it will probably pass the House before the end of the month. The Senate is a different situation.  They held their second subcommittee and do not appear to be in any hurry to move it out to the full committee.  They are still concentrating on allowable growth first which is contrary to the House The day of reconciliation on these issues between the chambers is
still a ways off.  Eventually they will come together and pass both issues. 

The first time this session the House and Senate came together on two issues. They agreed and passed the Internal Revenue Code update, which conforms Iowa tax code to Federal tax changes. Tax payers and preparers wanted this done early in the tax season. They also agreed on an appropriation to cover the transition cost of the mental health reform bill passed last year. This means the reform can begin to take place and eventually have uniform mental health care statewide.

The House has moved the education reform bill out of subcommittee to the full committee and has it up in that committee next week. This means it is likely to pass House before the end of the month. The Senate still has it in subcommittee and has met twice on it, but has been concentrating on the allowable growth issue. Eventually the Chambers will have to find common ground on both of theses issues and pass them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two Arts Council Job Openings Announced

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has announced two job openings for two Community Resources Specialists. Read the letters of announcement:
JOA Arts Prog 2 NPA | JOA CAD Arts Prog 2

Closing for applications for these positions will be February 18, 2013.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Advocacy and Lobbying Seminar

You are invited to attend the Advocacy and Lobbying Seminar on February 18. It will start at 10 am (notice new start time) at West Music in Coralville (map). The Alliance will provide lunch.  Free to our members. Arrange to bring a friend. Contact David Law to register:

Conductor Wanted

The Ames Children's Choirs (ACC) seeks a conductor to start in the 2013-2014 season. ACC currently comprises three choirs: the Preparatory, Chorale, and Concert Choirs. Candidates will possess strong musical, interpersonal and organizational skills and be available to attend weekly choir practices, meetings, and other special events in Ames, Iowa. 
ACC presents at least two major concerts per year and hosts biennial Midwest Children's Choral Festivals at the Stephens Auditorium at Iowa State University.  The choir groups also tour regionally, nationally, and internationally. The conductor will be responsible for programming, recruiting, and maintaining high artistic standards for the corresponding choir.   Further details please refer to the job description online.
If interested, please submit an application consisting of a one page cover letter and resume, via e-mail to In your cover letter please summarize your qualifications pertinent to choral music education, experience conducting and working with children, and why you would be a good fit with the  ACC.  Attachments to the cover letter and resume can also include,  but are not limited to:
  • A  sample concert program of 5 selections (title, composer/arranger and publisher)
  • A list of choral conference attendance and festival participation (if not in the resume)
The search will continue until the position is filled.   However, to ensure full consideration in the current search, please submit your complete application by March 8, 2013
More information about ACC are available at
Ames Children’s Choirs Search Committee

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lobbyist's Report

The House and Senate continued down different paths on education this week.  The Senate brought out of committee the three bills it takes to fund allowable growth and passed them on Wednesday and sent them to the House.  The House continued it's subcommittee work on the education reform bill.  

On the surface that sounds good but in reality it is not. The Senate is adamant to raise the allowable growth by 4% using the old method before taking up the reform bill and the House is just as set to do reform bill first and take the 4% allowable growth out of the general fund. This will continue until all bills are passed in one chamber and sent to the other. This same report could probably be written for the next three weeks.  One observer quipped that the republicans do not want to spend money and the democrats do not want change.  

Democracy at work....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Contact Legislative Committee Members

Here's where to find them:
Keep in touch!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

From IAAE Lobbyist Cal Hultman

This was a short week with the King Holiday on Monday and a late start on Tuesday for those who participated in the Monday inauguration. The full appropriations committee met on Wednesday in both chambers and had a briefing from the LSA on the Governor’s budget which is a broad overview. Thursday the joint budget sub committees met to start their work on the budget. The standing committees subs have started to meet and work on legislation and so far there does not seem to be a flood of bills being introduced.

The main point of contention between the chambers and the Governor so far has been the allowable growth increase for K-12 schools. The Governor wants his education reform bill passed before the allowable growth, since it also has funding in it and he also wants to take it off property tax and use general fund money. The Senate is working on a 4% allowable growth and using existing system of property tax to fund it. The law specifies that this needs to be passed in first 30 days of the session, which is rarely accomplished. This is the first of probably many partisan issues.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Executive and Advisory Boards Meeting

On February 2, 2013, both the Executive (10am) and Advisory Boards (11am) of IAAE will be meeting at the State Historical Building. The snow date for both meetings is February 9. Here is the agenda for those meetings:

Friday, January 18, 2013

From Cal Hultman, IAAE Lobbyist

The first week of this General Assembly is history. The legislators were sworn in Monday, and committees and seat assignments were made. Out of the 100 in the House only 49 have 2 years or more in the legislature and 20 out of 50 in the Senate have 2 years or less in that body. This is a direct result of reapportionment. This also shows why Iowa has never passed term limits.

Tuesday the Governor presented his condition of the state and budget message. His main priorities are tax relief and K-12 education reform. He has modified proposals from last year and the general mood of the Legislature is more receptive than last year. The 2-year budget still has the Democrats concerned, but the last 2 years were not that disastrous. The Governor’s speech brought out some loud protesters for the day. It’s difficult to see any effect they have on the process with that behavior.

Wednesday the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gave his address on the state of the Judiciary. The controversy that surrounded the courts during the last 4 years seems to have subsided. No protesters were in evidence the day of the speech.

Organizing committees and setting the more routine of meeting schedules occupied the balance of time this week. Next week we can expect more committee activity and the start of the appropriations process.

If you have questions to the IAAE lobbyist, contact David Law.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Iowa Arts Council Scholarship for the Arts applications due Feb. 1

Iowa high school students planning to enter college next fall with a major in an arts discipline can apply for a 2013 Iowa Scholarship for the Arts by Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

The Iowa Arts Council offers the scholarship annually to Iowa students who will graduate from high school during the 2012-2013 academic year and have a proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theater, traditional arts or visual arts. The application is available at

Each recipient will receive $1,500 toward his or her 2013-2014 college tuition and related expenses as a full-time undergraduate at a fully accredited Iowa college or university with a major in one or more of the disciplines considered for the award.

To be considered for the award, students must complete the scholarship application available at, write an essay about their future career goals in the arts, provide a work sample and include two letters of recommendation.

Applications and attachments are due by 4:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in the Iowa Arts Council offices at 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. Incomplete, illegible, handwritten or faxed applications will not be accepted. Application review, criteria, approval and notification process information is available at Please contact Veronica O’Hern at 515-281-3293 or for more information.

The Iowa Scholarship for the Arts was established in conjunction with a benefit concert by world-renowned opera singer Simon Estes for the state of Iowa’s Homecoming ’86 celebration. Two years later, IAC established an endowment to guarantee perpetual funding of the program. Initial partners that contributed funds to establish the endowment included Two Rivers Arts Festival and Raccoon River Brewing Company in Des Moines, the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, and private donations by Iowa Arts Council board members and private citizens.