Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jean, the Political Junkie

Once again, Mary Lundby is the voice of reason in the Iowa Senate. Our Senate Republican Leader gives details in her latest newsletter about expensive teacher pay legislation that was passed quickly out of the Senate Education Committee with little discussion. We all need to take a closer look at this bill.

Does every Jackson County school have a nurse and a licensed guidance counselor? That's an unfunded mandate included in the bill. Ask County Supervisor Jack Willey--he can tell you how much damage unfunded mandates have done to the county budget. BUT WAIT! The legislators will take care of that problem because the bill will also allow additional levies and property taxes for us.

Republicans see the merits of additional money for teacher pay. In 2006 our GOP legislators worked with Democrats and former Gov. Tom Vilsack on a $200 million package to move Iowa teacher pay from 41st to 32nd in the country. This new bill represents a BIG policy shift from the 2006 education bill.

There are many concerns with this new education bill that deserve lengthy discussion from school board members and administrators, parents, teachers, and taxpayers. Ask your legislator for public input on this critical bill!

In her latest "Statehouse Straight Talk" newsletter Mary Lundby says, "There is no need to rush this teacher pay plan through the legislative process without careful consideration, thoughtful dialogue and compromise. We need to slow this train down; Iowans deserve to see what train they're riding." You can read Mary's latest edition of "Statehouse Straight Talk" by clicking here.

-Jean Davidsaver