You can now view the IACS November 2014 Newsletter! In it you will find information on next week’s IACS Annual Membership Meeting, the upcoming Iowa ACE Education Celebration Event, and more!
We have just sent an email to member schools and administrators detailing our annual meeting date, times, and location. The IACS Annual Membership meeting is open to IACS school administrators and board members and will be held Wednesday, November 19th at the Fox Creek Center. You can find a map to their location on their temporary website.
The email also passes along some critical updates on reporting requirements for independently accredited schools. We are encouraged by some of the details and want to make sure you get the information quickly.
If you are an IACS front office manager or administrator and you do not get our email by the end of the day today, please contact us and we’ll make sure you are included on our “Member Schools” and “IACS Administrators” email lists!
We have some great updates on Independent Accreditation, our Annual Members Meeting in November, and other information!
You can read the entire newsletter here:
There is no question Iowa’s financial institutions and college lending services are seeing a tangible problem with student debt and lower levels of financial literacy. There is no shortage of stories about skyrocketing student debt, maxed out credit cards, and and consumers struggling to know their options.
For a number of years, the Iowa Association of Christian Schools (IACS) has been involved in discussions at the Capitol about how best to improve financial literacy education in Iowa. Since the passage of the Iowa Core Curriculum, Iowa’s schools have been required (mandated) to teach financial literacy and address the standards as part of the Iowa Core’s “21st Century Skills” framework. The real challenges for schools have been finding quality resources and a lack of emphasis on the area as schools adjust to an ever-changing demographic and regulatory environment.
IACS has always believed there is a win-win solution that avoids additional onerous and duplicative mandates while providing the resources needed for schools to implement quality financial literacy programming. We are proud to have been a part of a conversation last year with members of the business community, legislators, and the Iowa Department of Education on a way forward and we have had representation on the Financial Literacy Work Team that came out of those discussions.
Our goal was to figure out the best way to provide resources and training to schools, how best to clarify the standards to make them easier to implement, and gather information on how schools are meeting the requirement. We also are interested in collecting examples of what is working well and share these with the rest of the education community across the State. As an organization that is concerned about financial literacy and always opposed to unfunded mandates, we believe the work team recommendations accomplish all of these goals in a way that will work best for Iowa’s students and stakeholders in the private sector.
We stand ready to help improve communication and raise the visibility of this important issue across the state. We thank Director Brad Buck and his staff, Governor Branstad and his staff, and the members of the Work Team for their passion for the issue and their willingness to work on solutions that respect the role of local schools and provide meaningful help implementing financial literacy standards.
You can read the Department’s press release and the Work Group’s recommendations here:
Many of your schools received a letter from the Iowa Department of Education this week outlining some guidance on how to move forward with your accreditation choice. By the 15th of September, you will need to contact the person listed in the letter and let them know which of the three options you choose.
There have been questions about the options. If you did not get the letter from the DE, please email us and we can get you the contact info for the right person at the D.E.
The options are as follows:
Option 1 – Choose to stay state accredited.
Option 2 – State accredited school choosing to switch to independent accreditation (already independently accredited or with a final site visit coming up very soon).
Option 3 – Schools not state accredited that are becoming independently accredited. You’ll be assigned a building number.
There are still some issues we will be working wight he Department and/or the Legislature on moving forward. Please contact IACS with questions or if issues arise . Thank you!