Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 8, 2013

Education, property taxes dominate legislative forum


Sinclair added that a quality educational system is necessary to attract quality workers for Iowa businesses. She has heard that Vermeer has struggled to find qualified workers, and when parents consider moving to take a job, the quality of the schools play a role.

Heartsill believes one of the problems with education is too much top-down control. Educators are expected to teach everyone the same way and to reach the same goals, when children learn in their own ways. Heartsill’s wife is a home school educator and has run into this issue. Heartsill wants to restore local control.

There is also difficulty in removing ineffective teachers from Iowa class rooms.

“The teachers’ lobby is strong in Iowa,” Rozenboom said.

Sinclair also discussed the potential for educational improvement by introducing more competition to the industry. This was revisited by Oskaloosa Schools Superintendent Russ Reiter. Reiter told the legislators that, as a public school, it has to take every child, and that finding the best way to reach every child is not always easy.

Reiter is also aware of the challenges presented by competition, as students in his district could easily enroll in area private schools or Pella Community Schools. He said he has no problem paying teachers more, but it will require more money, which may not always be available. Settlements with unions for future pay also present a challenge when the State dictates increases or changes.

“With every district, there come local settlements,” Reiter said.

“When you live in rural Iowa, your choices are limited,” Sinclair said. “We have to make sure we are protecting a parent’s choice.”

Teaching to the center, as Reiter described the requirements of his staff, can sometimes leave the brightest at the top from reaching their potential, while those at the bottom may not be able to reach theirs as well. There was no resolution to the discussion, but as a member of the Education Committee, Sinclair intends to take what she heard back to the Senate.

Text Only
Local News
  • library.jpg New library at Auld Park

    The City installed this new library at Auld Park Wednesday afternoon. The Optimist Club helped create this new way for the people of Knoxville to share literature.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • marked bricks.jpg Bricks being marked, intersection to close

    Streetscape Project Manager Richard Brees is going around the square once again, marking bricks that require replacement before the project is accepted.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Republicans.jpg Republicans to hold events
    The Marion County Republicans are holding events in Knoxville and Pella Saturday, July 26. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fawn.jpg Marion County photo contest winners

    Winners of the 2014 Marion County Photo Contest were announced at the Marion County Fair. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seusical for web.jpg Seusical opens Friday

    Seussical the Musical will be performed live on stage at the Pella Community Center over the next two weeks. The show will feature some familiar Knoxville faces, including lead character "Cat in the Hat" performed by Knoxville High School student Colby Jones and "Horton the Elephant" played by 3M employee Todd Weber. Other Knoxville actors include Greg May as the General and Liz DeMoss as a Who.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • MINE logo.jpg Drug bust in Pershing

    The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement drug task force executed a search warrant in Pershing last night, leading to one arrest. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • MINE logo.jpg Two arrested on drug charges

    The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement drug task force executed a search warrant in Knoxville last night. A man and a woman were arrested. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • new street sign.jpg New sign installed

    A Knoxville crew installed the first of the new downtown street signs Tuesday afternoon. 

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Work on Robinson Monday morning

    Knoxville Public Works Supervisor Dennis Webb says that traffic may be congested on West Robinson this morning, between Casey's and Kent Street, for some manhole repairs. Be prepared for backed up traffic and single lanes this morning while the project is going on.

    July 21, 2014

  • Addie.jpg Team Addie benefit Aug 2

    Addie Brenden, age 3, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. A benefit for her family is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m., at the North End Lounge in Pleasantville. 

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo