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The Iowa State Board of Education (State Board) works with the Iowa Department of Education (Department) to provide oversight, supervision, and support for the state education system that includes all public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges, and teacher preparation programs.
The duties of the State Board include:
- Adopting rules for carrying out the responsibilities of the Iowa Department of Education
- Establishing standards and procedures as well as reviewing and approving educator preparation programs
- Hearing parent and guardian appeals of decisions by local school boards
- Adopting content standards applicable to all kindergarten through 12th grade students in accredited Iowa schools
- Accrediting school districts and community colleges
- Reviewing and approving the budgets of area education agencies and community colleges
- Approving or denying charter school applications
- Responding to concerns and input from Iowa citizens throughout the year
- Advocating on major educational issues to the executive and legislative branches
- Analyzing the data outlined in the Annual Condition of Education Report
There are ten members of the State Board of Education: nine voting members appointed by the governor for six-year terms and subject to Senate confirmation and one nonvoting student member, also appointed by the governor.
Vision, Mission, Priorities and Goals, and Strategic Plan
Iowa students will become productive citizens in a democratic society and successful participants in a global community.
Our mission is to champion excellence for all Iowa students through leadership and service.
Priorities and Goals
The State Board has developed clear and detailed priorities to guide their work. Each year the State Board develops their priorities and goals that they will focus on during the coming year. These may be emerging policy issues that the board wants to study, or they may be policies that the board wants to advocate for or support in some specific way. These priorities guide the work of the board.
Ensuring Equity in Education
- Goal: All preservice programs will ensure preservice educators are prepared to teach in inclusive and diverse PK-12 classrooms and community colleges.
- Goal: All school districts and community colleges will ensure continuing education for in-service PK-12 educators, college faculty, and administrators to achieve equitable outcomes.
- Goal: All school districts and community colleges will attract, recruit, retain, and promote educators who represent the student population they serve.
- Goal: All school districts will develop partnerships with underserved students and families to drive policies, practices, and resources that are equitable to close educational gaps and prepare students for the 21st century workforce.
Eliminating Achievement and Opportunity Gaps
- Goal: All learners will have access to quality early childhood education.
- Goal: All learners will meet or exceed literacy and math benchmarks.
- Goal: All learners will have access to personalized, student-centered learning opportunities that include differentiated interventions and learning opportunities.
- Goal: All teachers will have access and training, in preservice and in-service, to best practices in early literacy instruction, and cultural competency.
Improving Teacher and Leader Preparation
- Goal: All teacher and leader preparation programs in Iowa will be aligned to comprehensive standards and prepare candidates to meet the high expectations of our teacher and leader workforce.
- Goal: All teacher and leader preparation programs in Iowa will develop the competencies candidates need to be culturally responsive to Iowa’s increasingly diverse student population.
- Goal: All educators in Iowa will be prepared to provide effective instruction through both in-person and distance learning formats.
Preparing Learners for Tomorrow’s Workforce
- Goal: All learners will have robust individualized career exploration and planning experiences that enhance career awareness, aspirations, and planning.
- Goal: All learners will have consistent and equitable access to globally competitive career and technical education, work-based learning, and concurrent enrollment opportunities through an efficient, integrated system.
- Goal: All learners will be supported by clear guided educational pathways to further education or employment with stackable credentials and targeted support services provided by community colleges.
- Goal: All learners will successfully navigate career pathways developed through business-driven sector partnerships and obtain the skills and quality postsecondary credentials necessary for a rewarding career that meets current and future business needs.
Creating a Safe, Healthy, and Welcoming Learning Environment
- Goal: All Iowa schools will work with their learners to foster a culture and climate in which they feel safe and supported, and bullying and harassment do not exist.
- Goal: All learners will have access to mental health services and supports in their schools and communities.
- Goal: All schools will create environments that develop social, emotional, and behavioral health.
- Goal: All schools will develop physical health for students through structured school programs (e.g., food and nutrition, physical education, wellness programs, etc.)
The State Board works with the Department to provide oversight, supervision and support for the state education system that includes all public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges and teacher preparation programs.
The State Board’s mission is to champion excellence for all Iowa students through leadership and service. In order to champion excellence, the State Board developed principles to guide decisions to keep equity embedded in policies and practices and at the forefront of its work. The board acknowledges that removing disparities in the education system is a long-term process, requiring continual efforts that are integral to the success of an equitable Iowa educational system.
The State Board will collaborate and seek the voices of the people it serves.
The following principles guide processes in decision-making and problem-solving with an equity lens:
- Understand, acknowledge and address the history and systems that have led to disparities in education to create a system of belief that all students can succeed
- Every student must have equitable access to rigorous learning opportunities
- Recruitment and retention initiatives of educators that reflect the student population is key to creating an inclusive and equitable school environment
- Collaboration among students, educators, community members, policy members and other stakeholders is central to the success of serving all students in the collective process of creating equitable policies and practices
- Dedicate time, funding and labor resources to address and eliminate disparities
State Board Meeting Dates, Agendas and Minutes
2024 Meeting Dates
Jan. 11, 2024
Feb. 8, 2024
March 21, 2024
May 9, 2024
June 20, 2024
August 1, 2024
September 12-13, 2024
November 13, 2024
2023 Meeting Dates
Jan. 12, 2023
Feb. 9, 2023
March 23, 2023
May 4, 2023
June 8, 2023
Aug. 3, 2023
Sept. 14-15, 2023
Nov. 15, 2023
2022 Meeting Dates
Jan. 20, 2022
March 24, 2022
April 20, 2022
May 5, 2022
June 9-10, 2022
Aug. 4, 2022
Sept. 15, 2022
Nov. 16, 2022
Student Member Application
Each year the Governor appoints a student to serve as a nonvoting member of the Iowa State Board of Education. At the time of application, the student must be a full-time, regularly enrolled tenth or eleventh grade student in an Iowa school district.
Applications are being accepted for the 2023-24 student member of the Iowa State Board of Education. The term of the student member starts May 1, 2023, and ends April 30, 2024. The State Board meets at least seven times during that term, with most meetings taking place in the Grimes State Office Building in Des Moines. The deadline for submitting an application with all required documents is Feb. 1, 2023.