The remedy for conflicts of interest is transparency

BY: - September 6, 2022

We often hear the phrase “conflict of interest” pertaining to government officials violating their oath to serve the public interest. According to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the most common conflicts involve officeholders voting on land use matters that impact their own holdings. “Other examples include voting to grant a benefit to a company […]


We all don’t benefit equally from government aid — it’s not just student loans

BY: - September 3, 2022

President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for many borrowers is fair game for vigorous debate — and disagreement. Americans have been debating and disagreeing for 246 years. What jumps out in this latest dispute is how some politicians are blind to the inconsistencies in their arguments against this […]

Cost still challenges Iowa college students despite federal debt forgiveness

BY: - September 2, 2022

While many Iowa college students and graduates will benefit from the national student loan forgiveness program, student aid workers say it may not encourage more Iowans to pursue higher education. Meghan Oster, the division administrator for research and communication at Iowa College Aid, said it’s too early to know for sure how the announcement will […]


The new Harkin Center is a liberation movement

BY: - August 29, 2022

No, it’s not just another new building. It is a liberation movement. Usually, a dedication to a new building isn’t big news except for those with a personal stake in the construction. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are pro forma events that give those involved a deserved acknowledgment. Funders show up and congratulate one another. Last Saturday, Aug. […]

School district agrees to $195,000 settlement over alleged assault, threats

BY: - August 25, 2022

The Cedar Falls Community School District and its insurer have agreed to pay $195,000 to settle a lawsuit involving a student accused of sexually assaulting and then threatening to kill a classmate. A Cedar Falls couple sued the district in 2020, alleging that it had failed to adequately protect their fifth-grade son during a series […]


Coaches, please don’t lead team prayers

BY: - August 25, 2022

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities: As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his […]

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

BY: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

Judge and hearing officer sue state education agency, claiming discrimination

BY: - August 22, 2022

A hearing officer and a former administrative law judge are each suing the Iowa Department of Education for alleged employment discrimination. Randy Reiter, who was hired by the Department of Education 46 years ago at age 22, is suing the department in Polk County District Court, alleging age discrimination and gender-based pay discrimination. State records […]

What monkeypox outbreak? Little planning by colleges as students resume classes

BY: - August 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — College students are heading back to campus following more than two years of a pandemic that led many schools to empty out for full semesters and later move to hybrid schedules in a struggle to curb the spread of COVID-19. But the attempt by colleges and universities to return to something resembling normal […]

Former teacher accuses Polk County principal of discrimination

BY: - August 9, 2022

A former central Iowa school teacher is suing the Saydel Community School District for alleged gender discrimination. Jacqueline Loew began working for Polk County’s Saydel Community School District in August 2019. She was employed as a high school English teacher, with Principal Kevin Schulte acting as her direct supervisor. In February 2021, according to a […]

Linn-Mar schools sued over new gender-identity policy

BY: - August 5, 2022

A conservative group calling itself Parents Defending Education is suing the Linn-Mar Community School District over its policy of facilitating students’ gender-identity transitions without parental notice. The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges the eastern Iowa school district is flouting nearly a century of Supreme Court precedent that says parents have a […]

State board rejects appeal that sought to pull ‘Gender Queer’ from school library

BY: - August 4, 2022

The Iowa Board of Education refused Thursday to review a decision by the West Des Moines School District that keeps a book about LGBTQ identity on library shelves. Last year, Teri Patrick of Clive complained about the book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which is available for check-out at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, a West […]