Governor Tom Vilsack’s vowing to pressure the 2006 Iowa legislature to act on significant changes in Iowa’s education system, like putting the plans in motion for a longer school year. “Next year will not be an easy year. (I’m) gonna let the sort of the elephant out of the closet: there’s an election next year and we’ve got a lot of people running for things and that will be a convenient excuse,” Vilsack says. The governor, a Democrat, says legislators will try to cut short the legislative session and won’t want to make too many controversial decisions or take too many tough votes. Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon asked school administrators at their convention in Des Moines to begin lobbying legislators. “I need your help,” Vilsack says. “I need your help in convincing those who make the laws to work with us to effect the change.” Vilsack says those who’ve been elected to positions of leadership need to lead, and failing to make significant decisions on education would be failing Iowa’s kids. “This is precious time and there is no excuse,” Vilsack says. “It is our tradition, our value, our responsibility and while I have laid forward a number of controversial issues here, it is designed to challenge us to finish the race,” Vilsack says. “If we do, then our children will always be ahead in the race.” When lawmakers reconvene the legislature in January, Vilsack will be entering his final year as governor as he is not seeking re-election.