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About the Iowa State Board of Education


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The Iowa State Board of Education (the State Board) works with the Iowa Department of Education (the Department) to provide oversight, supervision, and support for the state education system that includes all public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges, and teacher preparation programs.

The duties of the State Board include:

  • Establishes policies for the efficient and effective operation of education in Iowa, from early childhood education through community colleges
  • Adopts rules for the enforcement of school laws
  • Strives for higher levels of learning and achievement for all students
  • Adopts long-range plans for the education system
  • Acts as the State Board for Vocational Education and Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Recommends changes in school laws to the General Assembly
  • Adopts rules for accrediting public and nonpublic schools
  • Hears appeals of local school board decisions
  • Collaborates with other educational and non-educational bodies and organizations
  • Approves the budgets of the community colleges and the area education agencies
  • Approves educator preparation programs


State Board of Education Members

There are ten members of the Iowa State Board of Education: nine voting members appointed by the governor for six-year terms and subject to Senate confirmation; and one nonvoting student member who serves a one-year term, also appointed by the governor.


Vision, Mission, Goals, Guiding Principles, and Strategic Plan


Iowa students will become productive citizens in a democratic society, and successful participants in a global community.


Our Mission is to champion excellence for all Iowa students through leadership and service.


  • All children will enter school ready to learn.
  • All PK-12 students will achieve at a high level.
  • Individuals will pursue postsecondary education in order to drive economic success.

Guiding Principles

  • All students can learn at a high level.
  • Students respond best to challenging expectations.
  • Safety and respect are essential to student learning.
  • Educators need ongoing support and professional development to improve student achievement.
  • Improving student performance requires a broad constituency of support.
  • A quality education system is essential to a successful democracy, lifelong learning, and a vibrant economy.

Strategic Plan

2012 Strategic Plan


Meeting Dates, Agendas and Minutes


January 23, 2014

March 6, 2014

March 31, 2014 (Telephonic Meeting)

May 15, 2014
June 12-13, 2014
August 7, 2014
September 18, 2014
November 19, 2014


January 31, 2013

March 28, 2013

May 9, 2013

June 4-5, 2013

August 1, 2013

September 26, 2013

November 6, 2013

November 20, 2013

Previous Years State Board Meeting Dates, Agendas and Minutes


Policy & Issue Information

The State Board has developed clear and detailed priorities to guide their work. In the strategic plan long range goals for the education system in Iowa are developed. Each year at their retreat, the State Board develops a policy development/leadership agenda, identifying priority areas that they will focus on during the coming year. These may be emerging policy issues that the Board wants to study, or they may be policies that the Board wants to advocate for or support in some specific way. These priorities guide the work of the Board. In addition to these policy development priorities, the State Board also develops a legislative agenda each year. Following are the State Board’s Policy Development Priorities and Legislative Advocacy Agenda.

The State Board also addresses policy issues through the use of position statements that outline their position on a particular issue. Their position statement on educational transformation is included below.

2012-2013 Policy Development Priorities

2014 Legislative Advocacy Agenda


Student Member Application

Application deadline for the 2014-2015 school year is past.

Each year the Governor appoints a student to serve as a non-voting member of the State Board of Education.  The term of the student member starts May 1, 2014, and ends April 30, 2015.  The State Board meets at least seven times during that term, with most meetings taking place in the Grimes State Office Building in Des Moines.  The deadline for submitting an application with all required documents is January 31, 2014.

Besides being a full-time, regularly enrolled 10th or 11th grade student in a public high school, the student must meet these requirements:

  • Has a GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale) or 3.75 (5.0 scale).
  • Has attended his/her present high school at least the past two consecutive semesters (or the equivalent thereof).
  • Demonstrates participation in extracurricular and community activities, as well as an interest in serving on the Board.

The number of applicants in a year from any one district is limited as follows:

  • If district enrollment for grades 10 through 12 is less than 400 students, there may be no more than one applicant from the district.
  • If district enrollment for grades 10 through 12 is from 400 to 1199 students, there may be no more than two applicants from the district.
  • If district enrollment for grades 10 through 12 is 1200 students or more, there may be no more than three applicants from the district.

The application and supporting documents are available below.  If you wish to complete this form electronically, you will need to open it in Adobe Acrobat. You will be given this option once you have downloaded the document (upper right corner of your screen).

Application Packet (This contains all supporting documents. Each individual document in the packet may also be downloaded below.)

For more information, contact Jody Crane at or 515-281-5296.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 17, 2014 at 3:48pm.