Strawn: Time for Democrats to put our kids before their campaign cash
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today said that in the days following the unveiling of Republican public education reform initiatives, leading Iowa Democrats have continued to demonstrate a stunning defense of the status quo and reflexive opposition to new ideas for improving Iowa’s public education system.
This Tuesday, Strawn was joined by Republican legislative leaders in a news conference to outline the Iowa School House Initiatives, a series of bold educational reforms to set high academic standards, test students and teachers to ensure those standards are being met, and keep parents and taxpayers fully informed of on-going progress.
In an Associated Press article posted Wednesday titled “Gronstal rejects Iowa GOP education plan,’ Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal flatly rejected the Republican initiatives and instead focused on raising teacher pay.
Strawn said, “When it comes to bold initiatives to reform our public educational system and focus resources on standards and accountability tools that will actually improve student performance, Republicans are the Party of new ideas and solutions while Democrats say NO and defend the status quo.
“It should come as no surprise that Senator Gronstal and Democrat leaders in this state are resistant to real reform. Since 2003, Gronstal, other Democrat legislative leaders, and the Iowa Democratic Party have received nearly $1 million in campaign contributions to maintain a status quo system that narrows the definition of educational success to teacher pay and teacher pay only,” said Strawn.
From January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2008, the combined contributions from the Iowa State Education Association to Senator Gronstal, Senate President Jack Kibbie, House Speaker Pat Murphy, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and the Iowa Democratic Party totaled $994,900. Contribution data was compiled using the online search engine on the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure website (2003 is the first year such data is available using the online search engine).
Strawn concluded, “As the son of an educator, a parent of two young children, and a product of Iowa’s public schools, I will not sit idly by and watch our state’s educational system slip into mediocrity. The best teachers in the world cannot right this ship without the kinds of tools our educational reform agenda brings to the table. Iowa Republicans will continue to bring forth a bold agenda that serves the needs of our students, teachers, parents and taxpayers. I encourage Senator Gronstal and his Democrat colleagues to start putting our kids before their campaign cash.”
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