Public education in Iowa

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K-12 Education in Iowa
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Brad Buck
Number of students: 495,870[1]
Number of teachers: 34,658
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14.3
Number of school districts: 361
Number of schools: 1,411
Graduation rate: 89%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,807[3]
See also
Iowa Department of Education
Iowa school districts
List of school districts in Iowa
Iowa
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Iowa
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The Iowa public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards members and superintendents. In 2012 Iowa had 495,870 students enrolled in a total of 1,411 schools in 361 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students is 1:16, in Iowa there were 34,658 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 14 students. There is roughly one administrator for every 277 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Iowa spent $9,807 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 27th highest in the nation.[5] The 89% high school graduation rate for Iowa was the highest in the nation in 2012.[6]

State agencies

The Iowa Department of Education oversees K-12 public education, non-public schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges and teacher preparation programs in the state of Iowa. The department was created by the 35th General Assembly in 1913 and was originally called the Department of Public Instruction. The current name was adopted in 1986.[7] The current Director of Education is Brad Buck.

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State Education Departments

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See also
Iowa Director of Education
Iowa school districts
List of school districts in Iowa
Public education in Iowa
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the Iowa Department of Education reads:[7]
The Iowa Department of Education (DE) works with the Iowa State Board of Education (State Board) to provide support, supervision, and oversight for the state education system that includes public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges, and teacher preparation programs.[8]

The State Board of Education is comprised of ten members that are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Iowa State Senate. Nine are voting members that serve six-year terms and one is a student member who serves a one-year term. The Board of Education is responsible for establishing, recommending, and overseeing the implementation of education policy in the state.[9]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Iowa State Board of Education adopted the standards on July 29, 2010, and according to their website, "all school districts and accredited nonpublic schools are required to fully implement the Iowa Core in grades 9-12 by July 1, 2012, and grades K-8 by the 2014-2015 school year."[10][11]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Iowa compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil (rounded), and the number of administrators per pupil (rounded). Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Iowa 1,411 361 495,870 34,658 1:14 1:277 $9,807
Illinois 4,336 1,075 2,083,097 131,777 1:16 1:283 $10,774
Minnesota 2,392 555 839,738 52,832 1:16 1:396 $10,823
Missouri 2,408 572 916,584 66,252 1:14 1:294 $9,410
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Iowa as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[12]

Demographic Information for Iowa's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 2,236 0.45% 1.11%
Asian 10,245 2.08% 4.73%
African American 25,303 5.13% 15.86%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 759 0.15% 0.42%
Hispanic 44,191 8.95% 24.64%
White 400,101 81.05% 51.64%
Two or More 13,035 2.64% 2.57%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

The largest number of students in Iowa attend rural schools, with over 65% attending rural or town schools. Of its neighbors, Iowa has the lowest percentage of suburban schools, but more than a quarter attend schools in big cities.

Student Distribution by region, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Iowa 26.4% 8.2% 25.4% 40.1%
Illinois 31.3% 43.3% 10.3% 15.1%
Minnesota 20.8% 29.4% 19.5% 30.4%
Missouri 17.4% 29.9% 19.2% 33.5%
United States 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey,” SY 2011-12 Provisional Version 1a.

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state for a full comparison of all states.

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Minnesota, Missouri, and Illinois), Iowa students did slightly better than Missouri and Illinois, but not as well as Minnesota. According to the Iowa "Annual Condition of Education Report for 2013," National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results remain unchanged. Iowa fourth and eighth grade NAEP results in mathematics and reading are also similar from the prior years, with no significant gains in either content area or grade level. See the table and bar graph below and the chart for a full comparison.

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Iowa 48 36 38 37
Illinois 39 36 34 36
Minnesota 59 47 41 41
Missouri 39 33 35 36
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP Assessment Data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT comparisons

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the United States

The following table shows the graduation rates, average composite ACT and SAT scores, and rankings for Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. In 2013, the number of Iowa SAT I takers was about 1,132 (approximately 3 percent) of the high school graduates. Iowa’s averages continue to be around 100 standard score points higher than the Nation’s in both Critical Reading and Mathematics. According to the Iowa Department of Education, the percentage of Iowa students taking the ACT was 66 percent for the class of 2013, compared to the national percentage of 54 percent in 2013. Iowa students continue to score well on the ACT with an average composite score (22.1).[13]

Comparison Table for graduation rates and scoring**
State Graduation Rate 2012* Average ACT Composite 2012 Average SAT Composite 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Iowa 89% First 22.1 63 1773 3%
Illinois 82% Third 20.9 100 1807 5%
Minnesota 78% 31 22.8 10 1780 4%
Missouri 86% 9 21.6 25 1173 5%
United States 80% 21.1 1498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Iowa was higher than the national average at 3.4 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.2 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[14]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Iowa

School choice options in Iowa include: an inter-district open enrollment policy, an education expense credit, two state-led online programs, and a tax-credit scholarship program, which awarded an average scholarship amount of $1,086 to 10,446 students participating in 153 schools in the 2012-2013 school year. The state has only six out of the 20 charter schools approved by the legislature. In addition, in 2012-2013 approximately 14,047 students, or 2.67% of the total student-aged population, were homeschooled and about 42,058 students, or 8.67% of school age children, were enrolled in 211 private schools.[15][16] [17]

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Iowa state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

The total state budget expenditures for fiscal year 2013 were $19,609 million, of which $3,173 million, or 16.6% is estimated to have been allocated for primary and secondary education. This represents a drop of 6.21 percent since FY 2011 when the state spent 17.7 of the budget on primary and secondary education.[18] Iowa education funding derives mainly from state and local resources in roughly equal amounts, with less than 10 percent of funding coming from the federal government.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget 2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Iowa 16.8 $9807 8.8% 62.12% 29.08%
Illinois 15.8 $10774 13.91% 63.73% 22.36%
Minnesota 23.8 $10712 13.75% 55.03% 31.22%
Missouri 22.6 $9410 22.33% 45.95% 31.72%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the United States to compare all states.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Iowa totaled approximately $5.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Iowa and surrounding states.[19]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Iowa $596,688 $2,537,754 $2,742,378 $5,876,820
Illinois $2,895,524 $9,304,948 $16,499,969 $28,700,441
Minnesota $886,619 $6,657,769 $3,641,015 $11,185,403
Missouri $1,389,362 $2,963,196 $5,749,895 $10,102,453
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the United States

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Iowa public school system expenditures totaled approximately $5.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Iowa and surrounding states.[20]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures Capital outlay Other Total expenditures
Iowa $4,839,681 $861,361 $126,588 $5,827,630
Illinois $24,525,567 $1,884,976 $1,138,206 $27,548,749
Minnesota 8,907,505 $1,077,960 $882,342 $10,867,816
Missouri $8,664,338 $856,962 $462,300 $9,983,600
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the United States

According to the Iowa Department of Education the average annual teacher salary for the 2012-2013 school year was $52,635 which ranks it 25th in the U.S. The average principal salary of $91,509 was 24th highest in the U.S. The chart below details the average teacher salaries for the 1999-2000, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, and shows the average percent of change.

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Iowa $48,757 $52,973 $51,076 $51,528 5.7%
Illinois $63,527 $66,264 $58,595 $59,113 -6.9%
Minnesota $54,393 $55,967 $ 55,874 $56,268 3.4%
Missouri $48,727 $48,373 $47,178 $47,517 -2.5%
United States $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Source: NCES, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13"

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Iowa ranked 27th overall, or average, which was in the middle tier of five tiers.[21]

The main union related to the Indiana school system is Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). ISEA is the largest education association in the state. For the 2008 tax period ISEA had: $14,425,643 in total revenue.[22]

List of local Iowa school unions:[23]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Iowa government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Iowa Association of School Boards.

Transparency

Iowa currently has no statewide, official spending database online. However, some independent state spending databases in Iowa include: the Public Interest Institute and www.iowatransparency.org.

Studies and reports

  • State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009-2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study shows that states that spend the most do not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor do they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. Download the full report here: Throwing Money At Education Isn’t Working.
See also: National Chart for information on the study and to compare data from all 50 states.
  • The Friedman Foundation for Education published a description and commentary on Iowa's school choice options in the 2014 study entitled ABCs of School Choice. They concluded that "Iowa’s tax-credit scholarship program provides a somewhat generous eligibility window—families with incomes lower than 300 percent of federal poverty qualify—the tax credits are limited to $8.75 million per year, which restricts the size of the scholarships and the number of children who can claim them. The program fortunately does not have a per-student funding cap for scholarships, but, again, that is limited by the program’s overall cap of $8.75 million. As for participating schools, the regulatory restrictions are reasonable. Schools must be accredited and comply with nondiscrimination, health, and safety laws. The program could be one of the strongest nationwide, if its overall funding cap were increased significantly and if eligibility were open to all students."[24]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Iowa ballot measures

There have been no ballot measures on education in Iowa.



Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Iowa + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Iowa Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  5. ‘’Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports,’’ issued May 2013 by the U.S. Census Bureau, accessed on May 17, 2014
  6. This is the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the U.S. Dept. of Education for all students in 2011-2012, and available from the ED Date Express at [1], accessed on March 17, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Iowa Department of Education, "About," accessed January 20, 2014
  8. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. Iowa Department of Education, "About the Iowa State Board of Education," accessed February 20, 2014
  10. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  11. Iowa Department of Education, "Iowa Core," accessed July 12, 2014
  12. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  13. Iowa Department of Education,"2013 Condition of Education Reports," accessed May 12, 2014
  14. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. 'Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, "The ABCs of School Choice," 2014 Edition.
  16. A2Z Home's Cool, "Number of Homeschoolers in the USA," updated February 2, 2014, accessed May 22, 2014
  17. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Private School Universe Survey (PSS)", 2011-12 ; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey", 2011-12 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a., accessed May 12, 2014.
  18. NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Tables 7 and 8, accessed May 12, 2014
  19. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  20. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  21. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  22. Center for Union Facts,"Iowa State Education Association," accessed February 20, 2010
  23. Center for Union Facts,"Iowa teachers unions," accessed February 20, 2010
  24. Friedman Foundation, "The ABCs of School Choice," accessed May 22, 2014