On Tuesday the House held a public hearing on House File 2380, the Education Reform bill. In just under two and half hours, the legislature heard from about 44 speakers and an opening statement by Governor Branstad about his proposed bill.
The speakers were all over the board on issues, with many not taking a position on the full bill itself, but rather individual parts of the bill. Aside from the Governor, speakers included teachers, principals, superintendents, lobbyists, parents, youth ministers, school board members, union representatives, and students. There is much passion for the education of Iowa’s children.
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Iowa’s position amongst states in regards to economic competitiveness improved according to a national study. On Wednesday, the Beacon Hill Institute released its annual survey of state economic competitiveness and rated Iowa as the eighth most competitive state in the nation. This is one step up from the state’s ninth place ranking in 2010.
The Beacon Hill Institute, based at Suffolk University in Boston, has conducted these surveys for eleven years. The survey grades each state on eight topics – government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy. The grades for these categories are determined by rankings of 44 separate indicators ranging from the number of active physicians per 100,000 residents to how a state’s budget deficit compares to its gross state product.
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