Newton Community Schools Board Member Sheri Benson, Vinton-Shellsburg Community Schools Principal Jim Murray, Senator Amy Sinclair, Newton Community Schools Superintendent Bob Callaghan, Newton Community Schools Board President Travis Padget

Vinton-Shellsburg Community Schools Principal Jim Murray attended the Iowa Association of School Board’s (IASB) annual Day on the Hill on January 24, 2017. School board members and administrators from across Iowa traveled to the Iowa State Capitol to make their voices heard on important education issues.

Participants first met for advocacy training, budget updates and legislative briefings with IASB staff. Senator Amy Sinclair, Senate Education Committee Chair, and Representative Walt Rogers, House Education Committee Chair, were on hand to answer questions and offer insights on education issues.

Following their morning of training, school board members went to the Capitol focused on educating legislators about issues important to Iowa schools:

* Timely and adequate school funding

* Extension of the State Penny for school infrastructure and property tax relief

* A long-term solution to create equity in school transportation funding

* Other issues important to their district

IASB Board President Amy Jurrens noted that there has never been a more important time to advocate on behalf of public education, and school boards are in a strategic position to do just that. “School board members understand what’s going on in their own district and are able to personalize the issue and draw attention to the needs of Iowa public schools,” Jurrens said, “Legislators don’t always know what’s happening in schools across Iowa—it’s up to locally elected citizens to ensure the issues are brought to light.

IASB is a private, nonprofit organization representing Iowa’s 333 public school districts, nine area education agencies and 15 community colleges.