We have finished week one in Des Moines and throughout the week we listened to speeches from the leadership in the House and Senate, Governor Reynolds, Chief Justice Christensen of the Iowa Supreme Court, and Adjutant General Corell with the Iowa National Guard. While we have much to celebrate here in Iowa, we are also facing enormous challenges. COVID is still a reality and we need to remain vigilant in testing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated. Iowans are returning to the workplace and the good news is wages are increasing due to the shortage of workers available in our state. I am committed to doing everything I can during this legislative session to address the challenges we are facing.
Attack on Iowa Teachers
This was a brutal week in Des Moines for public school teachers. President of the Senate, Jake Chapman, began the week by accusing teachers of having a sinister agenda to normalize sexually deviant behavior against our children, including pedophilia and incest. Senator Chapman proposed jailing educators who provide “obscene material” to children. On Tuesday Governor Reynolds continued the attack by once again proposing private school vouchers that would erode the funding for our 357 public schools in the state. The $1,000 bonus she is proposing for educators will not come close to erasing the damage she has done to the teachers and the teaching profession in this state. Educators deserve to be treated as professionals! They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect! They deserve to be trusted by elected officials who entrust them to educate the children of this state.
I promise to do everything I can to defend and support our public school teachers in Iowa. We are having enough difficulty recruiting and keeping the outstanding teachers in our public schools. Educators have enough to do without having to worry about political attacks coming from the Governor and Senate Republicans in Des Moines. The public looks to us to promote civility and to have reasoned debates in the legislature. Our children look to us to set the example for how to compromise and resolve conflicts. We can and should do better. Our Governor and Senator Chapman failed in those attempts this week. I am hopeful that this will change. We have a responsibility to the people of this state to show them it is possible.