EDUCATION REFORM: Senate Begins Discussion

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The Governor's Education Reform plan is before a group of senators at the State Capitol.

Before Wednesday the bill has only been discuss up in the House Subcommittee.

Wednesday afternoon Senators started to discuss the Governor's Comprehensive Reform Plan. The lengthy bill has many different sections including preparing Iowa students with the tools they need to be ready following high school graduation.

“What we`re doing here is setting a very high bar and trying to compel the education system to support students in reaching that high bar,” says Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass.

Director Glass spoke before the Subcommittee explaining part of Branstad's proposal that includes establishing a new program that would help students become career or college ready.

The program would offer seals for high school diplomas that would focus on certain skills that could help the graduating student in their next step whether that be college or a job out of high school.

The program which would cost four-million dollars to get started and would be on a volunteer basis.

However, Senator Herman Quirmbach, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, says he has reservations that the Sea Program would reverse what earning a high school diploma means.

“What does it mean for a kid to get a plain vanilla diploma, does this not convey that this kid isn`t ready for anything, it seems to me that we are undermining the value of the diploma itself,” says Senator Quirmbach.

The subcommittee will meet again next week to continue to discuss the Reform Plan.