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Norwalk, Iowa
February 28, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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February 28, 2013

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 N/Warren Town and County News Page Thirteen Legislative News By State Representative Julian B. Garrett julian.garrett@legis.state.ia.us Education Reform Passes The Education Reform Bill (House File 215) was passed by the Iowa House last Wednesday morning af- ter we had debated the bill until midnight, Tuesday evening. The vote was 52 Republicans in favor and 44 Democrats against. Four Represefitatives were absent or did not vote. I voted for the bill. If you have read my newsletters over the years or attended the forums that I have held, you know that I have many times pointed out that while Iowa was at the top in test scores, in com- parison with other states, as recently as 1992, we have stagnated in recent years. We are now in the middle of the pack when compared to other states. Our current effort began with Governor Branstad's Education Sum- mit in the summer of 2011. Much work has been done since then resulting in the bill that the Governor pro- posed at the start of the current legislative session. I was able to get onto the House Education Committee this year. I wanted to be able to have some input into the final version of the bill. Those who know my family know that education has always been very important to us and I want to give all our students the opportunity to be the best that they can, with the best education we can provide for them. I reported last week on some of the main provisions in the bill. An important part of the bill for me is the annual evaluations of teachers and administrators, taking student achievement into ac- count. By a unanimous vote we added a new amendment to the bill during floor debate, providing for supple- mental state aid to schools of 2% in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. This supplemental aid replaces what we used to call "allowable growth." There is more than a change in name. Our amendment provides that the whole 2% increase will be borne by the state. Under the "allow- able growth" concept part of the increase was paid by the state, but part was paid for by a property tax in- crease. There is still more additional state aid available to schools that choose to participate in the career lad- ders for teachers program established by the bill. Another new provision that we added to the bill is home rule for schools. Generally schools can only do those things that the law allows them to do. Home rule would mean that they could do anything that the law does not prohibit them from doing. This would give local schools more flexibility to adopt policies that they believe would benefit their schools. The bill now goes to the Senate. Hopefully the Sen- ate will act soon and will work with the Hc;use to pro- vide meaningful reform. Schools need to know the fi- nal provisions of the reform bill and how much money they will have to work with as they plan for the coming years. I expect the Senate to pass some amendments and send the bill back to us. It is likely that the bill will end up in a conference committee where a committee of members representing the House and Senate meet to try to resolve differences in their respective versions of the bill. It would be a shame if no agreement is reached and nothing gets done to improve our schools. Norwalk Forum I will be at the Norwalk City Hall for our monthly legislative forum Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. We will discuss the current legislative session and respond to questions and comments from the audience. The public is welcome. As always, feel free to contact me vith your ideas or concerns at 515-281-3221 or Julian.Garrett@legis. iowa.gov. Importance Of Family Caregivers (HAPS)--More than 65 mil- lion family caregivers play a major role in maximizing the health and quality of life of individuals with acute and chronic illnesses. "Family caregivers make a valuable contribution to patient care," said J. Fred Ralston Jr., M.D., FACP, pres- ident, American College of Physicians (ACP). "A proper pgtient-physician-caregiver relationship will contribute to a positive caregiving experi- ence and may decrease rates ofpatdent hospitalition and institutionalization." Respect for patients' rights should guide all patient- physician-caregiver interactions. ACP has issued =Family Caregivers, Patients and Physicdanm Ethical Guidance to Optimize Relationships" to guide ethical relationships among patients, physicians and caregivers. The paper, available on www.acponline. org, outlines principles to guide the patient-physician- caregiver relationship. ACP also encourages all adults to document their health care wishes in a living will, and for providers to respect those decisions. IDid You Know? (NAPS)--Scholars and bargain hunters agree that lapteps, tablets and e-read- ers are just some of the high- tech gadgets that students want to have when they return to school. Learn more at www.Staples.com/back toschool. The VA Travel Nurse Corps Program is a VA-oper- ated internal pool of regis- tered nurses who are avail- able for temporary short-term assignments at VA centers throughout the country. Nurses are compensated for their time and travel and receive per diem allowances. For more information, visit www.travelnurse.va.gov or call (866) 664-1030. *** LifeLock members get Boys Gymnastics Meet Results Pictured, left to right: Jude Norris, Tanner Gearheart, Chantz Nittler, Matthew Nguyen, Jackson Mellencamp Pictured, left to right: Ben Eyles, Grant Ernzen, Colin Pitz, Kylar Desmond, Tyson Trimble (with trophy), Noah Scigliano. The Chow's Boys Gym- nastics teams competed in the Presidential Classic In- ternational Gymnastics Meet February 15-18 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney, Orlando, Florida. In team competition, the Level 5 team placed 1st and the Level 6 team placed 4th. Individual All-Around Awards for the Level 4 team included: Age Group 1: Kevin Chow 5th, West Des Moines and Michael Nguyen 6th, Fort Dodge. Individual All-Around Awards for the Level 5 team included: Age Group 1: Matthew Nguy- en 1st, Des Moines and Jude Norris 3rd, Altoona. Age Group 2: Jackson Mel- lencamp 1st, Prole and Tanner Gearheart 6th, An- ii i'[iz ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Pictured, left to right: Kevin Chow, Michael "Nyen:: Photos submitted. ed: Age Group 2: Carter Group 3: Will Garrison Tope 5th, Urbandale. Age 7th, West Des Moines. support; stolen or lost wal- alerts f Ptential identity keny" Age Grup 3: Chantz [ I@ll C0 team competition, g Iris ] threats; identity monitoring Nittler 5th, Prole. The Lev- for exposure of personal el 5 team placed 1st in information; constant phone okin as PHOTO PRINTING 1 let remediation services to Individual All-Around (NAPS)--You don t have F -- ] help cancel and replace Awards for Level 6 team to spend a lot of dough to get | K" ,,.r ] is a full commercial printer. I credit and debit cards; and included: Age Group 1: good food foryour family, l " I comprehensive recovery ser- | vices. It's at www.lifelock. Tyson Trimble 5th, West The experts at Share Our [   " [ *Flyers Strength s Cooking Matters I I I *Letterhead /=m= I[ corn and (800) 543-3562. Des Moines. Age Group 2: can show you how at www. / % r / J___ / Noah Scigliano 2nd, Des CookingMatters. org. [ "K , [ *Envelopes I] I I Moines and Grant Ernzen Enjoy th:hol*iday season / / *Brochures I1-1111 I  I 9th, Urbandale. Age without feelingsorryabout | ____:--'-,p, | *Magazines  [  Group 3: Benjamin Eyles calories by using USA Pears | --(..-- | 1st, Ames, Colin Pitz 5th, to add natural sweetness to _ I *Newsletters - [ Ankeny and Kylar Des- m00nydJshesi00onenutrie.t- dense package. December is greens to nearly any pasta *Books, etc. Call for a free estimate! mond 6th, Norwalk. The National Pear Month, and dish," says Smart Balance Photo Printing, Inc. [ Level 6 team placed 4th in you can celebrate with this Registered Dietitian Wammi Hubert Booth gets credit team competition.- seasonal fruit in sweet or Hancock. When you use 210 S. 1st St., Carlisle, IA 50047 [ tor inventing the firs! Individual All-Around savory dishes. Smart Balance Fat Free * * * Milk and Omega-3s instead ! modern vacuum cleaner Awards for Level 7 includ- "Adding spinach is a sub- of whole milk, you can save 515-989-3251 ! in 1901. tle way to bring nutrientrich on fat and calories, too.