School board approves 2023 legislative priorities, new logo
The Marshalltown Community School District board of education approved legislative priorities for 2023 during their regular Monday night meeting, as well as a new district logo and four new student school board representatives for the upcoming year.
Superintendent Theron Schutte laid out the MCSD’s 2023 legislative priorities for the board, and they have five primary focuses for the new session — public education, the School Funding Policy, Supplemental State Aid, mental health and the achievement gap caused by the lack of in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The items on the list are similar to previous year’s legislative priorities, as Schutte felt that they remain relevant today and that supporting related legislation would be helpful for the district and the families it serves.
Schutte gave the board a quick overview of each priority and why it matters to the MCSD. He said the school funding policy is really about making it as “equitable as possible versus equal,” since different districts have varied needs.
Supplemental State Aid was important in order to keep providing pay increases for staff so the district can keep up with yearly inflation, though it has been a challenge in recent years according to Schutte. Continuing to support youth and adult mental health within the district and reducing achievement gaps are also top priorities for the district.
“I retained our previous desire to have the state continue to focus on reducing achievement gaps, or eliminating achievement gaps,” Schutte said. “I think, in this case, it isn’t really as much about money, throwing money at that, as it is helping provide continued guidance and knowledge and strategies on how to most effectively address that, of which, I do believe that we’re on a really good path this year with our work.”
The final priority Schutte touched on was public education. He felt the continued financial support of public education was imperative for the success of students, and that diverting funds to private school entities, as has been discussed in legislature previously, would not be in the district’s best interests.
“These seem to make a lot of sense for our district. Not just for our district, but for many districts across the state, in particular, the public education priority,” School Board President Sean Heitmann said.
The school board approved the list of priorities unanimously, and they will be submitted to the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) for consideration. When the IASB has their annual delegate assembly in November, they will review all Iowa school district legislative priorities (of districts that are members of the IASB) to see what priorities are common between districts.
In addition to discussing legislative priorities, a new school district logo featuring a blocky blue “M” outlined in red with the word “Marshalltown” bolded above ‘Community School District,’ was approved unanimously by the board.
Communications Director Adam Sodders recommended the logo designed by Juicebox at the previous school board meeting, and now that it has received board approval, it will replace the current “Marshalltown Star” logo. The new logo is a part of the initiative to update the MCSD website and present unified branding across the district.
Prior to the logo’s approval, Sodders wanted to stress that it had received a lot of support throughout the design process.
“I want to reiterate, there was a pretty extensive process of gaining support and feedback from the website task force and this is also, of course, part of the larger project for our upgraded, updated website,” Sodders said.
Schutte also believed that the new logo would be more significant, especially since the blocky ‘M’ shown in the new design can be seen all around Marshalltown in front of businesses and school buildings.
“For the most part, the existing logo really didn’t resonate with too many people. You know, I think back when that (logo) was designed and developed, a lot of people who were around during that time are no longer here,” he said. “As we were looking at a lot of different ideas and iterations, I think we all just gravitated to going back to this type of block ‘M’, because it has become so prevalent throughout the community.”
Schutte also recommended four new student school board representatives for the 2022-2023 school year, and they were unanimously approved at Monday night’s meeting. Student School Board Representatives Natalie Andrade, Abraham Madrigal Farias, Jaxson Eisenbarth and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora will be sitting in on the meetings come September.
In other business, the board:
Recognized RACOM as a career readiness partner.
Approved the purchase of Go Guardian in the amount of $23,976.
Heard a communications update from Sodders.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or