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A Day at the Capitol or A Day on the Hill

Wednesday, March 5, 2014  
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This story is from the Belltower Student Newspaper
By Michelle Finnegan, Managing Editor

Teacher Education students and faculty attended the Iowa Association of College Teacher Educators (IACTE) “Day on the Hill” event in Des Moines, Iowa on February 11th.  The purpose of the trip was to support advocacy for Iowa Teacher Education programs.  In preparation for the trip, they attended a workshop on campus with Iowa House of Representatives candidate, Abby Finkenauer.  Prior to meeting with legislators, they attended an orientation with a former legislator and current education lobbyist from the Department of Education at Grandview University to gain more information about current reform issues, proposed bills, and appropriate procedures at the Capitol.  The morning began early and included breakfast with the legislators and their staff.  During the opening session, students were introduced and received a warm welcome from both the House and Senate legislators.  Students met with their local Senate and House representatives including Senate President Pam Jochum.  It was a unique, educational experience to hear our legislators explain their own thoughts and concerns about education.  All of our legislators emphasized the importance of keeping in touch with what is happening at the capitol and giving feedback to your local government officials.  Senator and Maquoketa teacher Tod Bowman stressed that legislators depend upon their constituency.  He encouraged the students to keep elected officials updated with personal stories and about how the issues continue to affect their work in the education field. 

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