Democrats and Republicans in the legislature have shelved some key components of Governor Branstad’s education reform plan. For example, Representative Royd Chambers, a Republican from Sheldon, says legislators have questions about on-line, for-profit schools.
“There’s been a lot of controversy about the online program and we have made a decision we want to slow this down and study it,” Chambers says.
Two school Iowa districts would be allowed to continue their contracts for online for-profit schools, but the governor’s call to allow other districts to strike such deals has been put on hold.
House Republicans have proposed a major delay in Branstad’s call to test third graders’ reading ability and have those who can’t read at grade level repeat third grade. Chambers says House Republicans propose having that go into effect in the fall of 2016 — when the kids who enter school this fall reach third grade.
“That should be enough time to get things in place,” Chambers says, “and, if not, a future legislature can come back in adjust the date.”
Senate Democrats have rejected the idea of holding third graders back altogether. The governor also wanted to require that prospective teachers maintain at least a 3.0 grade average, but neither party has embrace that idea. Democrats want a study of the issue while Republicans propose exceptions to the grade-point requirement.