ISEA members in more than 400 affiliated local associations across the state can take advantage of a variety of programs and services designed to help them provide the best possible educational opportunities for Iowa's public school students. Here is a brief overview:
The ISEA has emerged as the state and national leader in creating a vision for the future of public education--a vision where schools are the center of the community and where educators and other school employees have all the support and resources they need. The Association also devotes financial resources and staff assistance to help local educators and their communities better meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's students.
The ISEA monitors the Department of Education and other agencies that establish rules and regulations to ensure that nothing but the highest professional standards are maintained. The ISEA also works closely with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
The ISEA provides a variety of learning opportunities and support to help educators deal with current issues and concerns.
Public relations and community support
The ISEA knows how important it is to bring public education's message before the community, businesses, and political leaders. We regularly launch major public relations campaigns, form coalitions with other education and community organizations, and work to increase parental involvement in education.
Lobbying and political action
It's a fact of life that every decision that affects education is a political decision. That's why the ISEA has developed a comprehensive program to help make public education issues an important part of the campaigns of candidates at all levels. Through our political action arm, ISEA-PAC, Association members interview candidates about their views on education-related issues, issue recommendations on which candidates are most supportive of public education, and work to help get pro-education candidates elected. Once the elections are over, however, the ISEA goes to work as one of the most influential lobbying groups at the state Capitol.
Contract bargaining and maintenance
Local association bargaining teams have made significant strides toward making teaching salaries competitive and improving working conditions for educators. With the help and support they get from the ISEA headquarters and UniServ field staff, Association members are able to clearly define the procedures and policies that govern job transfers, leaves, schedules, supplemental pay, and staff reduction. And when disputes arise over how contracts are interpreted, members use their negotiated grievance procedure, including binding arbitration, to resolve their problems.
The ISEA Advocacy Services division employs three full-time in-house attorneys who are experts in school law and employment-related issues. They, along with the 24 UniServ directors in 10 regional offices across the state, protect members' rights in cases ranging from threatened contract terminations to Board of Educational Examiners complaints. Association members also receive a $1 million liability insurance policy to protect them against job-related legal action.