Governor Branstad has issued a public endorsement of the decision to close the K-through-12 laboratory school at the University of Northern Iowa that has been a centerpiece of the school’s education experience for student-teachers.
“I have a great deal of respect for (UNI) President Allen. I think he’s doing a great job,” Branstad said this morning during his weekly news conference.
“I respect he’s in the best position to put together the strategic plan for how to prepare teacher education for the future and meet the needs and collaborate and work with more school districts.”
About 350 students are enrolled in the Malcom Price Laboratory School at U.N.I. The board that governs U.N.I. and the other state-supported universities voted Monday to approve the closure of the school by June 30th.
The overall plan should improve education for future teachers, according to the governor.
“I support President Allen and the Board of Regents…They’re the closest to this and in the best positiion to make this decision,” Branstad said. “And I know it’s never easy when you make dramatic change like this, but I respect and appreciate (Allen’s) courage and his commitment to making the University of Northern Iowa an even better school for the future.”
According to a consultant’s report, the lab school at U.N.I. needs up to $30-million worth of upgrades and the president of the Board of Regents has said that is “not affordable at thie time.”