Charter Members: Ankeny Cedar Rapids Council Bluffs Davenport Des Moines
Dubuque Iowa City Sioux City Waterloo  
About Us Leadership Objectives Brief History A Few Facts
Associate Members: Ames Cedar Falls College Community Fort Dodge Linn-Mar
Marshalltown Mason City Muscatine Ottumwa SE Polk
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Urban Education Network of Iowa

The UEN is a coalition comprised of the state’s eight largest public school districts, with Associate Member support of other large school districts with urban characteristics. Combined, these 17 districts enroll 34% of public education students in Iowa. UEN and Associate Member districts share distinct and unique characteristics with one common purpose; student learning for all students. In the belief that education is the state’s highest priority, the UEN is committed to partnering with the General Assembly and the Governor in a cooperative effort to provide an efficient and world class system of public education.


UEN Advocacy Resources Legislative Action
UEN Testimony Links and Resources

UEN Advocacy Resources


UEN Annual Meeting Legislative Priorities and Data
Larry Sigel and Margaret Buckton Presentation to the Annual Meeting

Part 1 - Advocacy Actions

Video PowerPoint Presentation

Part 2 - Issues for 2020 Legislative Session

Video PowerPoint Presentation | 2019 Legislative Digest

UEN Calls to Action:

02-19-2020 - Explaining Education Funding

01-27-2020 - School Funding


04-17-2019 - Financial Literacy Graduation Requirement Transition


03-01-2019  - Education Savings Accounts (Vouchers), Charter Schools and Diversity Plans / Open Enrollment Bills Are Not for Iowa

UEN Archived Calls to Action

Explaining Education Funding, February 12, 2019:
There have been many references to specific education funding metrics stated by the Governor, legislators and in the media over the last two years regarding education funding and the priority of education in the state budget. Here's what education leaders want you to know as you look deeper into those numbers.
Explaining Education Funding


UEN Priorities: 

Legislative Priorities for 2021 Session (Pending Approval on 11/5/2020)

Archived UEN Legislative Priorities


Issue Briefs:

The legislative issue briefs explains why these issues are important to school districts and gives a suggested action that the UEN encourages the Governor and Legislature to enact. Click on a link below for the individual brief.

Childhood Poverty/At Risk Students & School Funding 2020
English Language Learner Supports 2019
Home Rule District Authority 2019
Financial Literacy Transition 2019
Student Mental Health Student Services 2019
State Penny Extension 2019
Funding Adequacy 2019
School Choice 2018
Formula Equality: State & District Cost Per Pupil 2018
Quality Preschool For All Students 2018

Archived Issue Briefs

UEN Priority Simple Key Messages:


Sample Parent Letters:


On Funding: pdf version - doc version

On Formula Equality and Transportation Equity: pdf version - doc version

How to Advocate:


Get the basics with these Legislative Information Office publications:

Guide to the Iowa General Assembly
   - A guide detailing all aspects of the Iowa General Assembly.
How a Bill Becomes a Law

   - Explains the process a bill goes through from introduction to enactment.
Participation in Making Iowa Laws

   - Details how citizens can influence lawmaking by contacting their elected officials.
Legislative Terminology

Education Coalition Publications:

Education Coalition Publications


Legislative Action


Legislative Updates / Videos:

Updates During the Legislative Session

Budget Analysis:

LSA's Analysis of Governor's Budget Recommendation Jan. 2019

Archived Budget Analysis

UEN Positions on Legislation:


Legislative Digest:

2020 Legislative Digest

Archived Legislative Digest



Bill Summaries:

Archived Collective Bargaining Bill Summary



UEN Testimony:

August 5, 2020 Memo re public comments by UEN Members at State Board of Education Meeting - August 5, 2020
July 24, 2020 Letter to Gov. Reynolds, etc. re Proclamation on Reopening Schools and Return-to-Learn Plans - July 24, 2020
May 8, 2020 Letter to Iowa Congressional representatives re Request for Federal Supplemental Appropriations for Local School Systems COVID-19 Support  - May 8, 2020
March 31, 2020 Letter to Governor Reynolds re UEN Concerns & Requests Regarding COVID-19 Continued School Closures - March 31, 2020
March 16, 2020 UEN Comments Regarding COVID-19 School Closures and Relief of Mandated Days and Hours - March 16, 2020
January 7, 2020 UEN Comments Regarding Proposed Rules Public Hearing: Chapter 103 Seclusion and Restraint - January 7, 2020
September 12, 2019 UEN Testimony Regarding Cut Scores - September 12, 2019
August 1, 2019 UEN Comments Regarding Proposed Rules: Chapter 103 Seclusion and Restraint - August 1, 2019
January 8, 2019 UEN Testimony to Public Hearing re: Rules on Dropout Prevention and Online Learning - January 8, 2019
October 12, 2018 Letter to Governor Reynolds re: SAVE extension priority - October 12, 2018
October 12, 2018 Letter to Mr. Hubbell re: SAVE extension priority - October 12, 2018
January 19, 2018 UEN Testimony in Opposition to SF 270 Diversity Plans and Open Enrollment
March 6, 2017 UEN Testimony to House Ways and Means Subcommittee HF 230, State Penny Extension
August 9, 2016 UEN Comments Regarding Notice of Intended Emergency Rules to Implement New Individual Career and Academic Plan
March 8, 2016 UEN Statement to Press Conference on Water Quality Check-off Alternative
February 5, 2016 UEN Testimony to the Administrative Rules Review Committee re: Summer School Criteria Rules

UEN Archived Testimony



Links and Resources:


Federal Government Links and Contacts:


Links to other education advocacy organizations:

AASA Legislative Action Center ISEA Resources
AASA Policy & Advocacy NSBA Advocacy & Legislation
IASB Legislative Page Parents for Great Iowa Schools
Iowa PTA Legislative SAI Advocacy Resources


Iowa Legislative Contacts:


  Names and email addresses of the state Legislators:

Names and email addresses of the Congressional delegation:

   Find Your Legislator

  Names and email addresses of the Legislative Leaders:
(House Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Ed Chair, and Ranking Member)

   (Senate Majority Leader, President, Minority Leader, Ed Chair, and Ranking Member)

   Legislative Leaders

  Committee links:
  House and Senate Committee assignments. Committees with the greatest impact on schools include Education, Local Government, Ways and Means, Appropriations and the Education Appropriations Subcommittee.


Executive Branch Contacts:


  Governor's Office
  Dr. Ryan Wise, DE Director

  State Board of Education
  School Budget Review Committee

UEN Contact:


  Margaret Buckton, Legislative Analyst and Executive Director

   515.201.3755 Cell 





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