Education & Schools
Gov. Terry Branstad, First Lady Chris Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds launch bullying prevention listening tour PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:41
Branstad-Reynolds Administration continues commitment to better address bullying in schools 

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad, First Lady Chris Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced they will visit three Iowa school districts this fall to learn more about what Iowa schools are doing to deal with bullying and what steps Iowans would like the state to take next.

Better addressing the problem of bullying in schools has been a top priority of the Branstad-Reynolds Administration. Their work has included two statewide bullying prevention summits in Des Moines, which each drew an audience of more than 1,000, including many students from across the state. They’ve also proposed legislation to give schools clear discretion to respond to cyberbullying that occurs away from school but seriously interferes with a student’s education at school, as well as requiring parents to be notified if their child is the target of bullying.

Fifty-seven percent of sixth-, eighth- and 11th-graders reported being bullied at school in some way in the past 30 days, according to the 2012 Iowa Youth Survey. That was up from 50 percent in the 2010 Iowa Youth survey.

“All students deserve to feel safe and respected at school,” said Governor Branstad. “Many schools and their communities have started anti-bullying campaigns. We want to learn more about what they are doing, and to hear from educators, students, parents, business leaders and others how they think they state could better support their efforts to reduce bullying in schools.”

“Cyberbullying is a particular concern,” said Reynolds. “We can protect free speech and keep students safe at the same time. We have an obligation to make sure schools have the authority they need to look out for a student who is being tormented on social media”

“As a mother and grandmother, I want to help bring attention to why it’s critical to better address the problem of bullying,” said Chris Branstad. “It’s unacceptable that some students dread going to school because they worry about being taunted by classmates.”

The listening tour meetings are open to the public. They will include a panel discussion with students, educators and others as well as time for audience comments and questions.

The first of the three events will be held Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the West High School Media Center, 2001 Casselman St., Sioux City. Branstad and Reynolds will attend.

The second  listening tour town hall will take place Monday, Oct. 6, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at North Linn Junior/Senior High School Gymnasium, 3033 Lynx Dr., Troy Mills. The third town hall will take place Tuesday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Orpheum Theater, 220 E. Main St., Marshalltown. The governor, first lady and lt. governor will attend both of those meetings.

Photos of Gov. Branstad, First Lady Mrs. Chris Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds can be found here.

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RIVERMONT COLLEGIATE Art Program Ranks #9 in the State! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Vanessa Douglas   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:37

​Artsonia awards Rivermont Collegiate's Visual Art Educator Colleen Tomlinson with The Artsonia Leadership Award.

This is an honor extended to only 10 schools per state across the United States

Artsonia showcases over twenty-seven million pieces of artwork from thousands of schools, but thanks to Colleen Tomlinson's efforts, Rivermont's online art gallery ranks #9 in the state of Iowa. These results are based on the number of artwork published in the gallery, as well as the teacher's ability to cultivate a community of fan club members who actively support your students and their creativity. Below you will see the actual results for Rivermont Collegiate's online gallery in 2013-2014.

* Total Artwork Published: 3168

* Active Fan Club Members: 313

* Comments Left for the Artists: 238

* Artist Statements about their Artwork: 92

 
Braley Continues College Affordability Plan Push, Introduces Bill Strengthening Education Tax Incentives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:39

Congressman’s proposal helps current students with tuition costs, while providing relief with high levels of student loan debt interest

Washington, D.C. – Rep.  Bruce Braley (IA-01) today continued to roll out his College Affordability Plan by introducing legislation designed to help students and parents manage rising tuition costs, as well as provide relief to those facing significant student loan interest payments.

“The value of the American Opportunity Tax Credit and student loan interest deduction have declined significantly—while at the same time tuition and student debt levels are higher than ever—that’s not right,” Braley said. “These incentives need to have their value restored and indexed to inflation so that we’re not facing the same situation in another five or ten years.”

Braley is introducing the College Tuition and Debt Relief Act of 2014 today, which is designed to renew and extend tax incentives that help current and future college students afford rising tuition costs, while providing those with high student loan interest costs tax relief. Braley’s legislation would:

 

1) Strengthen American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) provides college students relief from the high cost of tuition. The AOTC is a $2,500 tax credit that can be taken to offset the cost of tuition, fees, and course materials for undergraduate students at two and four year colleges and universities. However, the AOTC is set to expire at the end of 2017. Braley’s legislation would:

·         Make the AOTC permanent and increase the credit from $2,500 to $3,000

·         Index AOTC to inflation to ensure that the credit increases as tuition rises

2) Double Student Loan Interest Deduction

This important deduction allows student loan borrowers to deduct up to $2,500 on interest paid on their student loans. The $2,500 limit, originally established in 2001, has not kept pace with inflation or rising tuition costs, significantly reducing its real value. Iowa students graduate with the 6th highest average student debt of any state. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average debt of an Iowa college graduate is $29,456 and Iowa ranks 3rd nationally in the percentage of students who graduate with debt, with nearly 71% taking on student loan debt. Braley’s legislation would:

·         Double the deduction from $2,500 to $5,000

·         Index the deduction to inflation ensuring that it will increase as tuition rises

Earlier this week, Braley unveiled the outline of his College Affordability Plan which contains four central components to help students, graduates and parents deal with rising tuition costs and growing student loan debt. The plan includes tax incentives, a grant program for current college students facing financial hardship, and a bill allowing students to refinance their loans at lower market rates.

Yesterday, after asking for and receiving hundreds of stories about Iowans’ experiences attaining and paying back student loans, Braley shared those comments with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

For decades college tuition costs have been rising significantly. Student loan debt today totals $1.2 trillion, $864 billion of which is backed by the federal government. More than 70 percent of students who graduated from college in 2012 had student loan debt.

A copy of Braley’s College Tuition and Debt Relief Act of 2014 is available online HERE.

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Braley: The Department of Education Needs to Hear First-Hand from Iowans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:57

Congressman turns hundreds of comments about Iowans’ experiences with college student loans over to Secretary of Education

Washington, D.C. – After asking for and receiving hundreds of stories about Iowans’ experiences attaining and paying back student loans, Rep.  Bruce Braley (IA-01) today shared those comments with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“The Department of Education needs to hear first-hand from Iowans about the struggles current and former students face as they try to get and repay student loans,” Braley said. “The fact is that tuition and debt levels are rising much more quickly than wages—and we’ve got a responsibility to put solutions on the table.”

 

Iowa students graduate with the 6th highest average student debt of any state. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average debt of an Iowa college graduate is $29,456 and Iowa ranks 3rd nationally in the percentage of students who graduate with debt, with nearly 71% taking on student loan debt.

Yesterday, Braley unveiled the outline of his College Affordability Plan which contains four central components to help students, graduates and parents deal with rising tuition costs and growing student loan debt. The plan includes tax incentives, a grant program for current college students facing financial hardship, and a bill allowing students to refinance their loans at lower market rates.

For decades college tuition costs have been rising significantly. Student loan debt today totals $1.2 trillion, $864 billion of which is backed by the federal government. More than 70 percent of students who graduated from college in 2012 had student loan debt.

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Angela Vargus of Muscatine Named to the Dean's List at Ohio Christian University College of Adult and Graduate Studies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rachel Fulks   
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:45

CIRCLEVILLE, OH (09/15/2014)(readMedia)-- Angela Vargus has been named to the Dean's List at Ohio Christian University College of Adult and Graduate Studies for the Fall 2013 Semester.

To be eligible for the Dean's List, a student must achieve a semester GPA of 3.5 or better and be enrolled in at least 12 "graded" semester hours.

Ohio Christian University, founded in 1948 is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation, and is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally, and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for traditional undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Additionally, OCU's Trailblazer Academy allows high school students to complete college classes on campus or online. All programs are designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.

 
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