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Consider running for school board

As we draw near to the end of the session the schedule becomes fairly routine. We gavel in, we caucus on the bills we intend to debate that day, we wait while Democrats file amendments, then we debate those bills.

One of the more significant bills this week that we passed in the House was the Administration and Regulatory budget that includes many of the state government functions such as the governor’s office budget, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Capitol building expenses and more. Included in this budget was also the appropriation for the broadband incentive program of $100 million that will be overseen by the office of the Chief Information Officer. This appropriation now goes to the Senate.

I have written several times in my newsletter about the issues with the Ames School District teaching a “Week of Action” using curricula from the Black Lives Matter movement that included disturbing and inappropriate ideologies about race, sexuality and one-sided political dogma. At the core of this curricula is the promotion of racist ideas based on the “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), and the promotion of sexual variants and practices that most consider inappropriate for school children. These newsletters have spurred parents to bring disturbing events to my attention about what is being taught in many more of our state’s public schools than I have been aware of. One of my colleagues in the House shared their child had been given an assignment to write about their “whiteness,” an ideological and racist notion promoted in CRT. Another of this colleague’s children was given reading examples that were inappropriately sexual. These examples are not coming from just Ames and the handful of other school districts that the Ames district listed as adopting similar curriculum. These are coming from smaller school districts in other areas. Parents have been shocked at what their children have been given.

I must suggest that the parents of all our public school children begin to monitor all of the lessons and reading examples their children are receiving. I suspect it will be an eye opener for many. Parents should also begin making it a practice to make copies of any materials that seem inappropriate. Not only do I suspect that our parents may find some surprises, but I also suspect that many of our school boards are not aware of precisely what is being offered to our students. When the Common Core Curriculum was adopted a few years ago I was very concerned about what that curriculum included in terms of reading exemplars, and it appears my concerns were well founded. I want to encourage all public school parents to get to know their school board members and administrators and teachers and share any inappropriate materials with them. It is clear we as a society have been far too complacent about what our public schools are teaching kids. You may even consider running for school board yourself. It’s important we have people on school boards who share the point of view that the role of a school is to educate, not indoctrinate.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you during the session.

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Dean Fisher is the state representative for District 72. Contact him at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov

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