Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, has been the Senate Democratic Leader since 1997. First elected to office in 1982, Gronstal served one term in the Iowa House (1983-85), and is currently in his seventh term in the Senate. He is the State Democratic Leader in the Iowa Senate and has been a lifelong advocate for public education and smart politics.


We are fortunate to have Mike Gronstal represent us, our students, our schools and our profession. In the current political climate it is vital that you understand that we need YOU. Your time, your talent, and--eventually--your treasure will be needed to make sure that we reverse the trend of legislators who are willing to sell out our children for corporate tax cuts.

Helping students succeed takes center stage

from the desk of Senator Gronstal
Strong local schools prepare Iowa students to succeed and help our economy grow.

That’s why new ideas to help Iowa students succeed are always welcome. After all, our students are competing with young people from around the world for jobs and other opportunities in today’s global economy.

In the Senate, I’ve built on Iowa’s tradition of educational excellence by making sure kids start school ready to learn, helping keep the best teachers in our classrooms, raising standards to make a high school diploma more meaningful, and providing workers with training for in-demand jobs.


These efforts hit a roadblock during the 2011 session. The fight against deep, unnecessary cuts to education at every level made it one of the longest in Iowa history. Fortunately, Iowans spoke up and the worst cuts were stopped or reduced. Next session, we must do better by Iowa students and schools.

I welcome Governor Branstad’s new focus on education. He is calling for raising academic standards, increasing the effectiveness of educators, and innovations that enhance learning. The ultimate goal is improving student achievement, something we can all agree on. How to best achieve these goals will be hammered out in the coming months.

Now is the time for you to get involved. What do you think are some good ways to improve student achievement? How can every local school offer a world-class education?

I encourage you to review the Governor’s education proposal at Then let me know what you think. Your ideas will help me prepare for the 2012 legislative session. One of my top goals is to make education in Iowa even better.


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