As the 90th legislative session convenes, one question we are often asked is how parents in Ankeny can support the school district. The Ankeny Board of Education has identified four main priorities that significantly impact the Ankeny Community School District’s resources for the 2024 Legislative Session. Understanding and advocating for these priorities can make a substantial difference in ensuring a robust educational environment for our children.
- Early Literacy: Early literacy development is crucial for a child’s academic success, involving fundamental reading and writing skills. This foundation enhances communication, critical thinking, and overall cognitive development. Despite steady literacy achievement over the past decade, approximately 20% of Ankeny students do not meet reading benchmarks each year. Advocating for early literacy policies, including professional development for teachers and evidence-based resources, will equip our students with essential skills, paving the way for improved overall achievement.
- Quality Preschool: Quality preschool programs provide the foundation for a child’s learning journey, impacting cognitive, social, and emotional skills. Research shows that attending quality preschool leads to higher academic success, graduation rates, and post-secondary preparedness. Advocating for policies ensuring access to quality preschool for all 4- and 5-year-olds, along with resources for full-day programming and support services, will benefit students throughout their educational careers.
- Adequate And Timely State Supplemental Aid: Ensuring adequate and timely Supplemental State Aid (SSA) is essential for addressing inequities in education funding. Stable SSA percentages that keep pace with inflation are crucial for Ankeny. With enrollment decline, maintaining at least the rate of inflation prevents the need for budget guarantees, preserving tax rates and providing necessary funding.
- Teacher Recruitment and Licensure: The quality of teachers significantly impacts student learning. As fewer students pursue careers in education, legislative action is needed to incentivize enrollment in licensure programs and promote diversity in the teaching workforce. Strategic legislative action can help Ankeny access a diverse pool of high-caliber teaching candidates and support the development of innovative programs. Flexibility in licensure approaches also allows the district to expand recruitment efforts and deepen partnerships for real-world career readiness learning.
We hope providing this information to our community will assist you in participating in informed conversations with our legislators. Ultimately, strong education legislation will further our goal of equipping every learner with the skills to flourish in and contribute to an ever-changing world.
Contact Your Legislators
You can call, write, or email your elected officials regarding the legislative priorities. Ankeny legislators can be reached in the following ways:
State Senator Mike Bousselot
State Representative Eddie Andrews
State Representative Molly Buck
State Representative Bill Gustoff
State Representative Heather Matson
We appreciate the work our legislators do on behalf of our students. They are our greatest advocates at the statehouse this upcoming legislative session.