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Iowa Press #2833 - State Senator Don Redfern and State Rep. Phil Wise
April 22, 2001

Yepsen: WHILE IOWA LEGISLATORS ARE SEEKING BUDGET COMPROMISE TO WRAP UP THE 2001 SESSION, EDUCATION WILL REMAIN A POINT OF CONTENTION LONG AFTER ADJOURNMENT. WE'LL DISCUSS EDUCATION AND STATEHOUSE POLITICS WITH SENATOR DON REDFERN, REPUBLICAN FROM CEDAR FALLS, AND REPRESENTATIVE PHIL WISE, DEMOCRAT FROM KEOKUK ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION...FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY... THE VOICE OF IOWA BUSINESS REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF OVER 1,500 IOWA BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 300,000 IOWANS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA...THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS IS THE SUNDAY, APRIL 22 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: DURING THE CAMPAIGN OF 2000 AND PRIOR TO THE START OF THE 79TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN JANUARY, STATEHOUSE OFFICIALS ACROSS THE BOARD SAID

EDUCATION WOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. THAT MEANT THAT TEACHER SALARIES, TEACHER TESTING, STUDENT TESTING, AND TEACHER CERTIFICATION, AND MORE WOULD GO ON THE TABLE. BOTH THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, IN THE PERSON OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK, AND THE LEGISLATIVE, BRANCH, REPRESENTED BY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED HOUSE AND SENATE WERE IN AGREEMENT: THEY AFFIRMED THAT A STARTING POINT WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT COMMITMENT TO BOLSTER TEACHER SALARIES. THAT COMMITMENT CALLED FOR A DOWN PAYMENT OF $40 MILLION. BUT TODAY ALL BETS ARE OFF. THAT'S BECAUSE THE LATEST REVENUE PROJECTIONS SAY IOWA WILL SEE A SHORTFALL OF $300 MILLION NEXT YEAR. BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS ARE BEING MADE IN THE NEGOTIATIONS, AND IOWA'S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, EDUCATION, IS AFFECTED. WELL, JOINING US TO HELP SORT THROUGH THE ISSUES AND THE SOLUTIONS ARE SENATOR DON REDFERN, REPUBLICAN FROM CEDAR FALLS WHO CHAIRS THE EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE IN THE IOWA SENATE, AND REPRESENTATIVE PHIL WISE, DEMOCRAT FROM KEOKUK WHO IS THE RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA HOUSE. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO "IOWA PRESS" AND TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

WISE & REDFERN: IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.

Yepsen: IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU TODAY. ALSO WITH US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE ARE STATEHOUSE REPORTERS KAY HENDERSON OF "RADIO IOWA" AND MIKE GLOVER OF "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS."

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, THIS SESSION BEGAN, AS DAVE MENTIONED, WITH A PLEDGE FROM THE GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE AND FROM REPUBLICANS RUNNING THE LEGISLATURE TO SPEND $40 MILLION IN A DOWN PAYMENT TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY. WE WERE TOLD THAT WOULD HAPPEN REGARDLESS OF THE ECONOMY, REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BUDGET, IT WAS IN A LOCK BOX, COUNT ON IT. WHAT HAPPENED?

Redfern: WELL, THE REVENUE SITUATION, AS DAVE SAID HERE IN THE INTRODUCTION, HAS BEEN THE BIG --

Glover: WE WERE TOLD THAT REGARDLESS OF THE BUDGET, REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE ECONOMY, REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING, IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, COUNT ON IT. WHAT HAPPENED?

Redfern: WELL, IT WASN'T TOLD BY ME AND BY EVERYONE. THERE MAY HAVE BEEN INDIVIDUALS --

Glover: THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.

Redfern: BUT CERTAINLY FROM THE SENATE SIDE, WE'VE BEEN WATCHING THE REVENUES AND REALIZING THAT THE FIRST JOB THAT WE HAVE IS TO DO RESPONSIBLE BUDGETING, AND WE HAVE A COMMITMENT TO ENSURE THAT IN THE FUTURE THAT WE HAVE AND MEET OUR COMMITMENTS TO ALL AREAS. ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WE SHOULD NOTE -- AND IT GETS LOST IN THIS DEBATE -- IS WE HAVE 4 PERCENT ALLOWABLE GROWTH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MANY YEARS THIS YEAR AND WE HAVE IT FOR NEXT YEAR AND WE JUST PASSED A BILL TO DO IT THE NEXT YEAR OUT. THAT GOES TO TEACHER SALARIES AND I THINK IT'S SIGNIFICANT THAT BOTH THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE TOOK THAT OFF THE TABLE. THAT ALLOWABLE GROWTH WILL STAY. I'M HOPEFUL WE CAN WORK THROUGH AND GET SOME OF THAT PACKAGE. I'D LIKE TO SEE $40 MILLION. I'D LOVE TO SEE $40 MILLION, IF THERE'S A WAY WE CAN WORK THE NUMBERS TO DO IT. BUT IN THE END, WE HAVE TO BUDGET RESPONSIBLY.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WISE?

Wise: WELL, YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THE COMMITMENT WAS CLEAR. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REVENUE PICTURE, WE WERE GOING TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD AND INITIATE A TEACHER COMPENSATION PACKAGE THAT DID MORE THAN JUST RAISE TEACHER SALARIES, ACTUALLY RESTRUCTURED THE WAY SALARIES ARE PAID IN THE STATE OF IOWA AND WHAT COULD BE THE MOST SYSTEMIC CHANGE IN 80 YEARS. THE COMMITMENT WAS FIRM. NOR WILL WE RENEGE ON OUR PROMISE TO PUT $40 MILLION IN A LOCK BOX FOR A TEACHER PAY PACKAGE, SO SAID SPEAKER SIEGRIST ON THE 18TH OF FEBRUARY.

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, WHY DID YOU MAKE THIS PROMISE? WHEN I SAY "YOU," I'M REFERRING TO REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE LEADERS, NOT "YOU" SPECIFICALLY. WHY DID YOU MAKE THAT PROMISE IN A TIME WHEN ALMOST EVERYONE KNEW THERE WAS ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY GOING ON? YOU JUST SET YOURSELF UP FOR THIS QUESTION I JUST ASKED YOU.

Redfern: WELL, AGAIN, THE SENATE -- IF YOU LOOK BACK WITH MAJORITY LEADERIVERSON, WE IN THE SENATE HAVE ALWAYS WATCHED THIS CAREFULLY AND WE WANTED TO DO IT. WE SAID IF AT ALL POSSIBLE WE WOULD DO IT, AND I'M STILL LOOKING AS HARD AS I CAN TO FIND THE MONEY. BECAUSE, I AGREE WITH REPRESENTATIVE WISE: THIS IS FAR MORE THAN MONEY; IT IS A COMPREHENSIVE CHANGE; AND I BELIEVE WE'RE VERY CLOSE TO AN AGREEMENT ON ALL THOSE TERMS. THE PROBLEM NOW IS FINDING THE MONEY. I'M COMMITTED TO LOOK FOR THAT MONEY, BUT RIGHT NOW IT'S VERY, VERY HARD TO FIND.

Henderson: THE ALLEGED GOAL OF THIS TEACHER COMPENSATION PLAN IS TO CHANGE THE WAY TEACHERS ARE COMPENSATED. WHAT PROBLEM DOES THAT ADDRESS, REPRESENTATIVE WISE, AND WILL THIS PLAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Wise: WELL, I BELIEVE IT ABSOLUTELY WILL. REMEMBER, THIS ALL STARTED A YEAR AGO WITH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC BUSINESS LEADERS WORKING WITH GOVERNOR VILSACKAND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS. THERE WAS AN AGREEMENT ON A FRAMEWORK BEFORE THE SESSION EVER STARTED.

Henderson: BUT WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?

Wise: THE PROBLEM WAS THAT -- YOU KNOW, IN POLITICS SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO HAVEA CRISIS THAT BRINGS YOU TO THE POINT OF THESE DECISIONS. THE CRISIS IS THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN ENOUGH TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS IN IOWA AND WE KNOW THE PROBLEM IS GOING TO GET FAR WORSE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY TEACHERS LIKE MYSELF IN THEIR FIFTIES WHO ARE GOING TO BE TAKING RETIREMENT WITHIN THE NEXT THREE OR THREE, FOUR, OR FIVE YEARS, AND WE SIMPLY DON'T HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE STAYING IN IOWA TO FILL THOSE POSITIONS.

Henderson: BUT IS THIS UNIQUE TO TEACHING? MANY RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES DECIDE TO GO OUT IN THE WORLD AND MAKE THEIR WAY AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A TEACHING DEGREE THEY HOLD. THIS IS NOT UNIQUE TO TEACHING.

Wise: IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT. ONE OF THE CHALLENGES -- MAYBE "THE" CHALLENGE FACING IOWA IS HAVING THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, ONCE THEY FINISH COLLEGE, TO STAY IN IOWA AND PURSUE CAREERS, WHETHER IT'S TEACHING, ENGINEERING, WHATEVER.

Yepsen: MR. WISE, WHY DO YOU SAY THERE'S A TEACHER SHORTAGE WHEN IOWA'S COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TURN OUT MORE TEACHER GRADUATES THAN THERE ARE JOB OPENINGS?

Wise: BECAUSE THEY GO TO TEXAS AND ARIZONA AND CALIFORNIA FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS MORE PLUS SIGNING BONUSES.

Yepsen: AND WHAT ABOUT THIS BUDGET ISSUE THAT MIKE JUST RAISED? THE STATE IS OUT OF MONEY. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE CAN'T AFFORD IT.

Wise: ABSOLUTELY. THERE'S NO QUESTION WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REDUCE SPENDING TO GET THROUGH THIS BUDGET SITUATION. BUT EVEN WHEN YOU DO THAT, IF YOU HAVE A PRIORITY, YOU FUND THE PRIORITY. THAT WAS THE PROMISE, TO FUND THE PRIORITY.

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, HELP ME OUT HERE A LITTLE BIT. I HAVE A GEN-X DAUGHTER AND I LOOK AT HER CONTEMPORARIES, MANY OF WHOM WERE TEACHERS GRADUATING WITHIN THE LAST FIVE YEARS OF FROM COLLEGE. A LOT OF THEM MOVED TO CALIFORNIA, A LOT OF THEM MOVED TO FLORIDA, A LOT OF THEM MOVED TO NEW YORK BECAUSE THERE ARE OCEANS, BEACHES, AND LOTS OF OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE. THAT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR A CENTURY. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CHANGE THAT BY RAISING TEACHER PAY BY $1,000 OR $2,000 A YEAR?

Redfern: YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. IN THE 1960S AND '70S, I HAD AN UNCLE THAT WAS IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA WHO WAS THE SUPERINTENDENT AND HIRED. HE USED TO COME BACK TO CEDAR FALLS AND STAY WITH MY PARENTS TO RECRUIT AT UNI, AND THAT WAS BACK IN THE '60S AND '70S. SO THAT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THERE ARE, RIGHT NOW, MORE GRADUATING HERE THAN WE HAVE JOBS, AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THEM STAY. IT'S INTERESTING, A GOOD PERCENTAGE OF THOSE THAT GO ELSEWHERE TO TEACH COME BACK EVENTUALLY. BUT I AGREE WITH REPRESENTATIVE WISE: IN THE LONG TERM WE HAVE A PROBLEM. WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN TERMS OF SUPPLY, AND WE WANT TO ATTACK IT NOW BEFORE IT GETS REALLY OUT OF CONTROL, BUT THAT TEACHER COMP BILL IS MORE THAN JUST PAY. ONE OF THE THINGS IT DOES IS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AN IMPROVEMENT. IT GIVES OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHERS THAT WANT TO TAKE EXTRA TIME FOR IMPROVEMENT, WHETHER IT'S WITH TECHNOLOGY, TEACHING TECHNIQUES. THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT PART. IT HAS THE MENTORING COMPONENT. I THINK ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS IS WE HAVE A LOCK-STEP SENIORITY SYSTEM TODAY, WHICH MEANS TO GET TO A CERTAIN PAY LEVEL, A PERSON HAS TO HAVE BEEN THERE SO MANY YEARS THE PLAN HERE WOULD ALLOW SOMEONE THAT WANTED TO BE ON AN ACCELERATED COURSE TO TAKE THOSE EXTRA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. WHEN THEY GET IN THEIR LATE TWENTIES, EARLY THIRTIES, THEY COULD BE MAKING SALARY AT A LEVEL WHERE IT MIGHT TAKE SOMEONE NOW THAT'S FORTY OR FORTY-FIVE TO MAKE. AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT IN KEEPING PEOPLE HERE IS THEY CAN LOOK AHEAD IN THE NEXT FIVE, TEN YEARS AND SAY, "I CAN ADVANCE".

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, A LOT OF THE BUZZ AT THE STATEHOUSE -- AND YOU HEAR THIS BUZZ JUST LIKE WE DO -- WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO FINANCE THIS TEACHER PAY PACKAGE: IT'S NOT ABOUT KIDS; IT'S NOT ABOUT SCHOOLS; IT'S NOT ABOUT TEST SCORES; IT'S ABOUT "LET'S GET THE TEACHER UNION." A LOT OF REPUBLICANS AT THE HILL JUST HAVE PAYBACK TIME FOR THE TEACHERS UNION BECAUSE THEY THINK IT'S A DEMOCRATIC SUBSIDIARY. HOW MUCH OF THIS IS JUST "LET'S GET THE TEACHERS"?

Redfern: IT'S NOT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT AT ALL, MIKE, BECAUSE I BELIEVE UP FRONT WE WERE ALL COMMITTED. I WORKED WITH REPRESENTATIVE WISE OVER THE LAST YEAR, MET WITH THE GOVERNOR THIS SUMMER. REPRESENTATIVE WISE SAID WE HAD PEOPLE STEPPING FORTH. THIS IS WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT THIS STATE. IN MOST STATES, YOU HAVE A GOVERNOR TO GO OUT AND FIND PEOPLE TO SERVE ON A COMMISSION TO DO THINGS, AND HERE WE HAVE PEOPLE LIKE MARV POMERANTZ AND OTHERS THAT STEP UP AND SAID, "WE WANT TO PUSH THE STATE TO DO SOMETHING." THEY WERE RIGHT, SO WE HAVE MOMENTUM HERE. I BELIEVE THERE'S COMMITMENT BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HANDLE OUR BUDGET AND FUNDING PROPERLY.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, YOU'RE A TEACHER. YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE TEACHERS UNION.

Wise: YES, I AM.

Glover: HOW MUCH OF THIS WAS BROUGHT ON BY THE TEACHERS UNION ITSELF BY BECOMING A WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

Wise: WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF I AGREE WITH YOUR PREMISE, BUT I DO WORRY ABOUT THAT BECAUSE -- I READ YOU THAT QUOTE FROM SPEAKER SEIGRIST EARLIER IN THE SESSION. WELL, IN HIS PRESS RELEASE YESTERDAY, HE REFERRED TO THE $40-MILLION RAISES FOR THE STATE TEACHERS UNION IN THIS ATTACK BASED ON GOVERNOR VILSACK.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME, REPRESENTATIVE WISE. IN THE LAST ELECTION, THE IOWA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ENDORSED 80 DEMOCRATS; THEY ENDORSED 8 REPUBLICANS. CAN WE REALLY -- ARE THEY POLITICIZING EDUCATION HERE?

Wise: I CAN'T SPEAK FOR THE TEACHERS UNION.

Yepsen: WELL, YOU'RE A MEMBER.

Wise: I AM A MEMBER.

Yepsen: ARE THEY MAKING EDUCATION A POLITICAL FOOTBALL?

Wise: I WOULD HOPE NOT. I KNOW THAT THE ENDORSEMENTS IN THOSE RACES WERE BASED UPON LOCAL INTERVIEWS BY LOCAL TEACHERS. I BELIEVE MY FRIEND SENATOR REDFERN WAS ENDORSED BY THE TEACHERS UNION IN THE LAST ELECTION, WEREN'T YOU, DON?

Redfern: I WAS. THAT WAS MY THIRD ELECTION. THE FIRST TWO I WAS NOT. TEACHERS ACTUALLY RAN AGAINST ME. BUT I WAS PLEASED AND I FEEL I'VE WORKED WELL WITH THEM, AND I'VE BEEN PLEASED WITH THE INTERACTION.

Glover: WELL, AS A MEMBER OF THE TEACHERS UNION, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY THAT GROUP HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN IOWA POLITICS OR DO YOU THINK THAT GROUP SHOULD TAKE A MORE EVEN-HANDED, BIPARTISAN APPROACH TO THINGS?

Wise: I THINK THEY SHOULD ENDORSE CANDIDATES BASED UPON WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY OR WHAT THEY DO IF THEY'RE INCUMBENTS, NOT BASED UPON PARTY AFFILIATION.

Yepsen: LET'S SWITCH GEARS AND GO TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS. SENATOR REDFERN, THE REGENTS INSTITUTIONS, THE THREE STATE UNIVERSITIES -- YOU REPRESENT ONE OF THEM -- HAVE REALLY TAKEN A HIT IN RECENT BUDGETS. THE GOVERNOR HIT THEM. THE LEGISLATURE IS HITTING THEM. WHY HAVE THE REGENTS INSTITUTIONS LOST POLITICAL INFLUENCE AT THE STATEHOUSE?

Wise: I THINK RIGHT NOW, OF COURSE, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE PRESENT FINANCIAL SITUATION. I'M CO-CHAIR OF THAT COMMITTEE AND WE HAVE ABOUT A $900-MILLION-PLUS BUDGET, AND THE REGENTS ARE OVER TWO-THIRDS OF THAT. SOMEONE MIGHT SAY THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS SO THAT WHEN YOU COME UP SHORT, THE NATURAL THING IS TO LOOK THERE. I THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK THROUGH THIS. I OBVIOUSLY AM A VERY STRONG PROPONENT. WE HAVE A SUCH A UNIQUE SITUATION. I REMEMBER GROWING UP HERE THINKING, MY GOSH, WE HAVE A BIG EIGHT SCHOOL AND A BIG TEN SCHOOL. THINK OF THIS. FROM STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA, TO AUSTIN, TEXAS, WE'VE GOT TWO OUTSTANDING RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES, AND MOST OF THE STATES AROUND US MUCH LARGER DON'T HAVE THAT. YOU GO TO WISCONSIN OR MINNESOTA. I AM WORRIED THAT IF WE CONTINUE AT THE LEVEL THAT WE ARE NOW WITH FINANCING THAT WE COULD LOSE THAT. I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT THIS STATE THAT'S PARTICULARLY UNIQUE IS HAVING THOSE OUTSTANDING RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES.

Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, DO WE SPEND TOO MUCH ON HIGHER EDUCATION? IOWA'S PER CAPITA LEVELS OF SPENDING ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN THIS STATE ARE ABOUT SEVENTH OR EIGHTH IN THE COUNTRY.

Wise: I KNOW AND I DON'T THINK WE SPEND TOO MUCH ON HIGHER EDUCATION BECAUSE, AS DON SAID, WE HAVE REALLY QUALITY INSTITUTIONS. I'LL TELL YOU, THOUGH, I'M VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE PROPOSED REDUCTIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN THAT BUDGET. WE HAVE AMONG THE HIGHEST TUITIONS IN THE COUNTRY AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES. AND WITH THE PROPOSED REDUCTIONS IN THE EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT WE SAW JUST THIS WEEK, WE'RE GOING TO SEE REALLY SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN COLLEGE TUITIONS AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEVEL.

Henderson: SENATOR REDFERN, WHAT ABOUT TUITION AT THE REGENTS LEVEL: IOWA, IOWA STATE, UNI? WILL STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS BE FORCED TO FORK OUT SIGNIFICANTLY MORE BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET CUT?

Redfern: WELL, YOU KNOW, THOSE ARE GOING TO BE POLICY DECISIONS THE REGENTS MAKE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALTERNATIVES TO THE EXTENT THAT WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO LOWER THE REVENUE THEY GET EACH YEAR OR STEM THE INCREASE IN THE FUTURE. THAT CERTAINLY IS VERY POSSIBLE. THEY HAVE OTHER OPTIONS. THEY COULD CUT BACK ON THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS. THEY COULD SHUT DOWN DEPARTMENTS. I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT BECAUSE I BELIEVE, ALONG WITH AGRICULTURE, WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF IOWA, WHAT DO THEY THINK OF? THEY THINK OF EDUCATION. AND YOU GO AROUND THE COUNTRY, ONE GROUP JUST NAMED IOWA -- REMEMBER REPRESENTATIVE WISE, THE THING YOU CAN TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN AS A TEACHER HERE, STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS, BEST PERFORMANCE BY ANY STATE, WAS IOWA. MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN WERE SECOND AND THIRD. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE KNOWN FOR. WE'VE GOT TO ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PROTECT THAT BECAUSE THOSE ARE OUR OCEANS, THOSE ARE OUR MOUNTAINS. IT'S EDUCATION.

Henderson: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, LET'S FLIP THE QUESTION. WHAT'S WRONG WITH TUITION GOING UP AT THE REGENTS INSTITUTIONS? IT'S AMONG THE LOWEST IN THE COUNTRY.

Wise: ACCESS. THE MORE WE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO THOSE INSTITUTIONS THE BETTER. I'M CONCERNED, FOR EXAMPLE, AT THE PROPOSED REDUCTIONS IN THE WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS AT THE REGENTS INSTITUTIONS. WE HAVE 4,200 STUDENTS WHO ARE WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE WITH THESE PROGRAMS. I DON'T WANT TO SEE STUDENTS HAVE TO DROP OUT BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT.

Yepsen: ARE THERE STUDENTS WHO HAVE TO DO THAT?

Wise: I DON'T KNOW.

Yepsen: WELL, WE HEAR THIS STORY, OH, KIDS CAN'T GET IN BUT YET, IN FACT, THERE ARE ENOUGH LOANS, WORK-STUDY JOBS THAT IF A QUALIFIED APPLICANT WANTS TO GET INTO A STATE UNIVERSITY IN IOWA, THEY CAN; CORRECT?

Wise: I WORKED MY WAY THROUGH COLLEGE. I KNOW HOW DIFFICULT IT IS. IF WE CAN PROVIDE WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE WILLING TO WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH SCHOOL, WE OUGHT TO DO THAT. THAT IS AN IOWA VALUE, IF THERE IS AN IOWA VALUE.

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, LET'S FLIP OURSELVES BACK OVER TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. REPRESENTATIVE WISE MENTIONED THE ISSUE OF TUITION AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES. WHY IS THE STATE CUTTING BACK ON ITS SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES WHICH, ARGUABLY, ARE THE PLACE WHERE WE'RE DOING JOB TRAINING, ADULT EDUCATION? THESE ARE GRADUATES WHO STAY IN THE STATE AS OPPOSED TO REGENTS UNIVERSITIES. WHY CUT BACK THERE?

Wise: OH, I MEAN, IT'S TOUGH DECISIONS AGAIN WITH THE REVENUE. WE CAN TALK MAYBE IN A FEW MINUTES ABOUT WHERE THAT BUDGET SITUATION IS. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU. ONE OF THE THINGS, THOUGH, THAT'S UNIQUE: OTHER THAN MINNESOTA, OF ALL THOSE STATES AROUND US, WE CONTRIBUTE THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL COST OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS A STATE. OTHER STATES AROUND US -- WISCONSIN IS LESS THAN HALF OF THE STATE CONTRIBUTION. SO I THINK LONG TERM, STRUCTURALLY WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT, OKAY, HOW ARE WE GOING TO FUND COMMUNITY COLLEGES BECAUSE THE LOCAL SHARE HAS GONE DOWN, THERE'S BEEN PROPERTY TAXES. YOU ALL KNOW PROPERTY TAX INCREASES ARE NOT POPULAR. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A LONG-TERM VIEW. DO WE NEED SOMETHING TO COORDINATE THEIR ACTIVITIES SO WE DON'T HAVE DUPLICATION OF EFFORT? I THINK THOSE ARE LONG-TERM ISSUES. BUT I DON'T DISAGREE WITH ANYTHING I'VE HEARD. THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT FOR THE KINDS OF HIGH-PAYING JOBS WE NEED HERE IN THE FUTURE.

Glover: ARE YOU SUGGESTING THE STATE SHOULD REEXAMINE ITS COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES?

Redfern: REEXAMINATION ITS COMMITMENT? ABSOLUTELY NOT. MAYBE I MISSPOKE.WHAT I SAID WAS THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. WE NEED TO KEEP IT HERE. WE NEED TO LOOK, THOUGH, IN THE FUTURE HOW WE FUND THEM, BECAUSE THE LOCAL WAS TO HAVE A SHARE AND THAT SHARE HAS GONE DOWN AND IT'S NOT SCORING. AS REPRESENTATIVE WISE SAYS, WE NEED TO GET THOSE IN LINE, SO WE MAY HAVE TO TAKE A LONG-TERM LOOK AT -- OKAY, ARE WE -- SOME STATES, FOR EXAMPLE, HAVE SOME OVERSIGHT IN THE COORDINATION LIKE A REGENTS. I DON'T FAVOR THAT. I LIKE THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONCEPT, BUT SOMEWHERE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SQUARE THE FUNDING, AND THAT'S A LONG-TERM -- THAT'S A LONG-TERM OUTLOOK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE.

Glover: SO MORE FOR PROPERTY TAXES?

Redfern: I CAN'T SEE THAT -- MAYBE WE SHOULD GIVE PEOPLE LOCAL DECISIONS ON THAT. AGAIN, THOSE ARE LOCAL DECISIONS. I IMAGINE SOME COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICTS WOULD PROBABLY CHOOSE TO DO THAT; SOME WOULDN'T. THAT WOULD DEVELOP SOME INEQUITIES. SO IT'S NOT AN EASY SOLUTION TO COME UP WITH.

Yepsen: BUT SENATOR REDFERN, WHAT'S WRONG WITH SOME CUTBACKS? IOWA FAMILIES ARE HAVING TO MAKE CUTS ALL THE TIME. WE HAVE 3 STATE UNIVERSITIES, 15 COMMUNITY COLLEGES, 30 SOME PRIVATE COLLEGES, ALL OF THEM GETTING TAX MONEY IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Redfern: WELL, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH. WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS ABOUT WHERE WE CUT THIS BUDGET, BECAUSE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THIS SESSION IS TO GET US BACK ON TRACK. I WHEN I THINK BACK -- I WASN'T HERE. I THINK REPRESENTATIVE WISE, ALL OF YOU WERE HERE THE LAST TIME WE WENT THROUGH THIS. I'VE NOT EXPERIENCED THIS BEFORE BECAUSE I CAME IN HERE IN '94 WHEN PROJECTIONS -- WHEN THE REVENUE HAS ALWAYS EXCEEDED PROJECTIONS.

Yepsen: BUT THEY RAISED TAXES LAST TIME.

Redfern: AND THERE WAS A PROBLEM, RIGHT. AND THERE WAS A BIPARTISAN SOLUTION. THE BIG BIPARTISAN SOLUTION WAS THE LAW WE HAVE NOW.

Yepsen: THERE WAS ALSO A BIPARTISAN TAX INCREASE, RIGHT?

Redfern: AND I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY PROPOSALS FROM REPRESENTATIVE WISE OR THE GOVERNOR OR ANYONE ELSE. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, IS THERE GOING TO BE A TAX INCREASE THIS TIME?

Wise: I WAS HERE. IN FACT, I WAS ON THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE THAT WROTE THAT LAW. WE NEGOTIATED IT WITH GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S OFFICE, AND IT WAS INCREASEING REVENUES AND PUTTING IN PLACE THE SPENDING LIMITATION LAW. THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A REVENUE INCREASE THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR, HOWEVER, AND WE DON'T NEED TO. WE PUT IN PLACE THE TOOLS THAT WILL GET US THROUGH THIS, IF WE'RE WILLING TO USE THE TOOLS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, LET'S GET BACK TO WHAT SENATOR REDFERN WAS SAYING WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGES. DO WE NEED TO TAKE A LONG-TERM LOOK AT THE STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM IN THIS STATE, AS HE SUGGESTS?

Wise: I HAVE WORKED ALL MY FIFTEEN YEARS HERE TO MOVE FUNDING OF EDUCATION AWAY FROM PROPERTY TAXES AND ONTO THE STATE. I WILL NOT DO ANYTHING THAT RAISES PROPERTY TAXES AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEVEL OR THE K-12 LEVEL.

Henderson: ONE OF THE PROPOSALS THAT THE LEGISLATURE, TO DEAL WITH THE LOOMING TEACHER SHORTAGE, IS TO GRANT WHAT ARE CALLED ALTERNATIVE LICENSES, PEOPLE WHO DON'T HOLD A TEACHING DEGREE, ALLOW THEM TO TAKE A SHORT COURSE, AND THEN ENTER THE CLASSROOM. REPRESENTATIVE WISE, IS THAT A GOOD WAY TO DEAL WITH THE TEACHER SHORTAGE?

Wise: WELL, LIKE GOVERNOR VILSACK, I'M WILLING TO LOOK AT THE ISSUE OF ALTERNATIVE LICENSURE. THE BILL THAT PASSED THE HOUSE, HOWEVER, ON A STRAIGHT PARTY-LINE VOTE IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. WE DON'T NEED 12-WEEK WONDERS IN THE CLASSROOM. JUST BECAUSE A PERSON HAS A BACHELORS DEGREE DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE EQUIPPED TO BE A CLASSROOM TEACHER. IF WE WANT TO LOOK AT SOME ALTNERATIVE WAYS TO GET PEOPLE INTO THE PROFESSION, FINE. BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO LOWER THE STANDARDS TO DO THAT, AND THAT'S THE REASON THAT I THINK THERE'S NO CHANCE THE GOVERNOR WILL EVER CONSIDER THE BILL THAT PASSED THE HOUSE.

Henderson: SENATOR REDFERN, ARE YOU AND YOUR FELLOW REPUBLICANS LOWERING THE STANDARDS FOR --

Redfern: NO, I AGREE WITH REPRESENTATIVE WISE. THERE'S NO SHORTCUT TO TRAINING GOOD TEACHERS.THERE MAY BE SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO ASSIST PEOPLE WHO ARE CHANGING CAREERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO CONTINUE TO MAKE A LIVING AND MAKE IT USER FRIENDLY AT THE UNIVERSITY, BUT I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH REPRESENTATIVE WISE. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE PROPERLY TRAINED. I ACTUALLY HAD A CONDITIONAL LICENSE ONCE TO TEACH ALL THINGS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHICH, EVEN UNDER THIS BILL, YOU COULDN'T DO BACK IN THE YEARS WHEN THERE WAS SUCH A TEACHER SHORTAGE, THEY TOOK ANYONE WITH A B.A. I CAN TELL YOU FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GO IN THERE AND DO AN EFFECTIVE JOB, YOU NEED TO HAVE HANDS-ON TEACHER TRAINING, BECAUSE MINE BE WAS KIND OF OFF THE CUFF. I ENJOYED THE YEAR AND I THINK I DID FAIRLY WELL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE PROPERLY TRAINED.

Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT, THOUGH, THAT IN MANY SMALLER COMMUNITIES PARTICULARLY, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN TOWN WHO COULD HELP OUT IN THE SCHOOL TEACHING A CLASS OR TWO, NOT ON A FULL-TYPE BASIS, BUT THEY CAN'T BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT THIS LICENSING REQUIREMENT. THE CRITICS OF THE TEACHERS UNION WILL SAY ALL THIS IS, IS AN ATTEMPT BY THE TEACHERS TO REDUCE THE SUPPLY OF TEACHERS IN ORDER TO DRIVE UP THE PRICE. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

Wise: WELL, I COME FROM A SMALL-TOWN RURAL IOWA. AND I'LL TELL YOU, WE DON'T WANT LOWER STANDARDS FOR RURAL IOWA THAN THEY HAVE IN URBAN IOWA. SO THE NOTION THAT IN SMALL TOWNS OR RURAL AREAS THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN BE BROUGHT INTO THE CLASSROOM JUST DOESN'T PERSUADE ME. WE NEED HIGH STANDARDS IN BOTH URBAN AND RURAL AREAS. I DIDN'T SAY THAT I WAS OPPOSED TO THE CONCEPT AS SENATOR REDFERN SAID OF HELPING PEOPLE TRANSITION INTO TEACHING OR FINDING ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO GET LICENSED, BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING. THE NOTION THAT WE'RE GOING TO INCREASE STANDARDS FOR TEACHERS IN THIS TEACHER COMPENSATION BILL, WE'RE GOING TO REQUIRE ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO HAVE A MENTORING PROGRAM, AN INDUCTION PROGRAM FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS TO BRING THAT NEW TEACHER ALONG, BUT TO SAY, "BUT IF YOU WANT TO COME IN THIS OTHER ROUTE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THAT." THAT SENDS ABSOLUTELY THE WRONG MESSAGE.

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, THIS WEEKEND IS SOMETHING OF AN ANNIVERSARY. IT'S AN ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLUMBINE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN COLORADO. THAT HASN'T BEEN A TOPIC AT THE LEGISLATURE, SCHOOL VIOLENCE. SHOULD IT HAVE BEEN? IS THAT SOMETHING WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT HERE?

Redfern: I THINK, AGAIN, THIS IS A STATE WE'VE GOT LOCAL CONTROL AND I BELIEVE THE LEGISLATURE HAS WORKED TO GIVE THE LOCAL DISTRICTS THE KIND OF TOOLS THEY NEED TO DEAL WITH THESE SITUATIONS. AND I THINK THAT FROM WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN OUR OBSERVATIONS IN WORKING WITH THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS, THEY FEEL THAT THEY DO HAVE, FROM THE STATE, THE KIND OF SUPPORT THEY NEED TO HANDLE THIS SITUATION.

Glover: ARE THEY DOING ENOUGH?

Redfern: I THINK IN MY OBSERVATION, I DON'T BELIEVE THERE'S ANYTHING ELSE THAT I'VE SEEN THAT THEY REALLY NEED TO DO.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WISE, HOW MUCH OF THIS REACTION THAT WE SEE IN IOWA AND AROUND THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THESE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS? I'M THINKING OF METAL DETECTORS AT THE DOORS, COPS PROWLING HALLWAYS. HOW MUCH OF THIS CONTRIBUTES TO A CLIMATE OF FEAR IN SCHOOLS? THAT MAKES IT A LESS PLEASANT PLACE.

Wise: IT'S CERTAINLY NOT A GOOD THING. I KNOW AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER THAT THERE ARE PROFOUND CHANGES IN THE ATTITUDES IN SCHOOLS TODAY BECAUSE OF THESE INCIDENTS. STUDENTS ARE SUSPENDED AND EXPELLED MUCH MORE QUICKLY AND READILY. ANYTIME THERE IS EVEN A SUGGESTION OF VIOLENCE OR A WEAPON, VERY SWIFT AND FIRM ACTION IS TAKEN, WHICH I THINK IS APPROPRIATE. BUT IT DOES CREATE A DIFFERENT ATMOSPHERE THAN EXISTED WHEN I STARTED TEACHING 32 YEARS AGO.

Glover: WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT'S CAUSED THESE CHANGES? IS IT JUST A DIFFERENT SOCIETY?

Wise: YES.

Glover: IN WHAT WAY?

Wise: PUBLIC SCHOOLS TAKE ALL COMERS, SO THAT MEANS AS FAMILIES AND SOCIETY ITSELF CHANGES, WE SEE THAT REFLECTED IN WHO COMES TO OUR DOORS. IT IS VERY CLEAR TO ME THAT BEING A TEACHER IS A MUCH HARDER JOB NOW THAN EVEN TEN YEARS AGO.

Glover: SENATOR REDFERN, WHAT'S CAUSED THESE CHANGES?

Redfern: WELL, I THINK THAT WE JUST -- AGAIN, WE'RE REQUIRING AND DEMANDING MORE FROM OUR TEACHERS. THIS IS WHAT I HEAR FROM TEACHERS WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE CLASSROOM FOR 20, 25 YEARS, WHAT THEY'RE REQUIRED TO DO -- AND THIS IS PART OF THE REASON FOR THE TEACHER COMP BILL. THIS IS PART OF THE REASON FOR THE INCREASED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RECOGNIZING THAT WE'RE CALLING UPON TEACHERS TO DO MORE FOR THESE YOUNG PEOPLE AND STUDENTS THAN WE DID BACK WHEN SOME BUSTS WERE GOING DOWN IN METRO SCHOOLS.

Yepsen: KAY HENDERSON?

Henderson: LEGISLATORS HAVE HISTORICALLY SHIED AWAY FROM THE IDEA OF FORCING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CONSOLIDATE OR MERGE. BUT YOU HAVE VERY SMALL HIGH SCHOOLS OUT THERE THAT CAN'T PROVIDE THE TYPE OF HIGH-LEVEL CLASSES THAT THEIR STUDENTS NEED TO GET TO COMPETE IN COLLEGE. SHOULD THERE BE REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS, SUCH AS HAS BEEN SUGGESTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION?

WISE: ABSOLUTELY. IN FACT, IRONICALLY, JUST YESTERDAY WE MOVED A BILL IN THE HOUSE THAT WOULD PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS AND FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO MERGE. WE'RE NOT ABOUT TO MANDATE REORGANIZATION IN THE STATE OF IOWA. IT GOES AGAINST OUR BELIEF SYSTEM AS IOWANS. BUT WE ARE, I HOPE, GOING TO PROVIDE SOME INCENTIVES FOR THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

YEPSEN: WHY NOT MANDATE? MOST OF THAT TEACHER PAY BILL IS GOING TO BE TAX DOLLARS THAT ARE PAID BY URBAN TAXPAYERS GOING TO SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS. WHY SHOULDN'T WE FORCE SCHOOLS TO MERGE IN THIS STATE?

REDFERN: I HOPE THAT'S NOT THE CASE. I HOPE THAT IS NOT A MATTER OF SHIFTING --

YEPSEN: WELL, LOOK WHO PAYS THE INCOME TAX IN IOWA. THEY'RE THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN URBAN IOWA. IT'S A TRANSFER PAYMENT.

REDFERN: YOU'RE RIGHT. THERE'S NO QUESTION WE HAVE GONE A LONG WAYS SINCE I'VE BEEN IN THE LEGISLATURE MOVING AWAY FROM PROPERTY TAX, WHICH IS A REGRESSIVE TAX TO FUND SCHOOLS. I BELIEVE THAT EVERY STUDENT, WHETHER THEY COME FROM AN URBAN OR RURAL AREA, A WELL-TO-DO OR NOT-WELL-TO-DO AREA, SHOULD HAVE THE SAME EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY. I BELIEVE THAT IS AN IOWA VALUE.

GLOVER: SENATOR REDFERN, CAN YOU DEFINE FOR US THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN HELPING FORCING, ASSISTING, NUDGING, COERCING, LOCAL SCHOOLS, MAINLY SMALL RURAL SCHOOLS, IN EMERGING AND FORMING LARGE SCHOOLS?

Redfern: I THINK WE'VE GOT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE INCENTIVES, TRANSITION HELP. I THINK SOME THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN HERE WHERE LOCAL DISTRICTS DECIDE THEY HAVE TO DO IT. AND ONE OF THE THINGS IS THE PROPERTY TAX. PHIL TALKED ABOUT THE PROPERTY TAX. MANY OF THESE SMALL DISTRICTS, TO BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN THEIR SCHOOL, ARE TAXING. THEY'RE PROPERTY OWNERS MUCH MORE THAN OTHERS. WE HAVE THE BUDGET GUARANTEE, WHICH IS USED PRIMARILY BY SMALL RURAL DISTRICTS. WHEN WE LOOK AT TEACHER SALARIES AND COMPARE THEM, WE REALLY HAVE TWO STATES IN IOWA. YOU GO TO THE URBAN AREAS, THE SALARY STRUCTURE IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE RURAL AREAS. AND AS WE MOVE UP TEACHER PAY, THE LOCAL DISTRICTS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SHARE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THAT. I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THAT AND REALIZE THAT THEY NEED TO BENEFIT. THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND EFFICIENCIES IN ECONOMIES, AND WE NEED TO PROVIDE THE KIND OF INCENTIVES THAT PHIL JUST TALKED ABOUT THAT ARE COMING THROUGH THE HOUSE TO ASSIST IN THAT PROCESS. BUT I DO NOT BELIEVE WE SHOULD TELL THEM WHAT TO DO, I DO NOT BELIEVE, BECAUSE WE HAVE A TRADITION OF EDUCATION COMING UP FROM THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND WE NEED TO KEEP THAT IT.

GLOVER: ISN'T THIS A LIFESTYLE CHOICE QUESTION THAT PEOPLE FACE, AND SHOULDN'T THEY BE FREE TO MAKE THAT DECISION? IN OTHER WORDS, "I'M GOING TO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN SMALL-TOWN, RURAL IOWA WITH ALL THE AMENITIES OF PRISTINE SMALL-TOWN LIFE, AND I DON'T HAVE TO LOCK MY DOORS AT NIGHT. I CAN LEAVE MY KEYS IN MY CAR, AND I'LL SEND MY KID TO A LOUSY SCHOOL."

REDFERN: THERE'S A CERTAIN KIND OF STANDARD I THINK THE COMMUNITY IS GOING TO INSIST ON. WHAT I FOUND -- I ATTENDED -- JANESVILLE, WHICH IS JUST NORTH OF CEDAR FALLS, HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF DECIDING, THEIR SCHOOL IS GETTING SMALLER, WHAT TO DO. I ATTENDED A COMMUNITY MEETING WHERE THEY TALKEDTHIS THROUGH. I WAS OVERWHELMED AND IMPRESSED WITH THEIR CONCERN FOR THE QUALITY OF THEIR EDUCATION. I DON'T THINK YOU'VE GOT COMMUNITIES THAT ARE GOING TO PUT UP WITH LOWERING STANDARDS.

YEPSEN: WE'VE GOT JUST A FEW SECONDS LEFT. BOTTOM LINE, REPRESENTATIVE WISE, WILL THERE BE A PAY RAISE FOR TEACHERS OUT OF THIS SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE?

Wise: GOVERNOR VILSACK SAYS THERE WILL BE.

YEPSEN: HOW MUCH?

WISE: $40 MILLION.

YEPSEN: SENATOR REDFERN, DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

REDFERN: YES, THERE WILL BE A PAY RAISE AND I THINK IT WILL BE SIGNIFICANT. I DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL BE $40 MILLION, BUT I THINK THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT ONE, YES.

YEPSEN: OKAY, THANK YOU BOTH. WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT AT THAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," WE'LL REVIEW THE PROGRESS OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 79TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. OUR TEAM OF IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS WILL REVIEW THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THIS SESSION OF 2001 AND FOCUS ON THE ISSUES THAT ARE DELAYING THE SCHEDULED ADJOURNMENT ON FRIDAY, APRIL 27. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00 HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." DEAN BORG REJOINS US NEXT WEEK AT THE SAME TIME, AND I HOPE YOU WILL AS WELL. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER." THANKS FOR JOINING US.

FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION;AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION...FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY. THE VOICE OF IOWA BUSINESS REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF OVER 1,500 IOWA BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 300,000 IOWANS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA.THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.