Home News KLEM News for Thursday, April 11

KLEM News for Thursday, April 11

The Iowa Senate has passed a bill giving schools some legal protection if staff with a professional gun permit volunteer to respond to a shooting on school grounds. Senator Dave Rowley, a Republican from Spirit Lake, says 20 Iowa school districts have expressed interest in having policies that allow armed staff on school grounds.


Republican Senator Lynn Evans of Aurelia, a retired superintendent, says parents want school officials to explore every option — including this one — to keep students safe.


The bill passed with the support of 30 Republican senators and opposition from 14 Democrats. If the bill becomes law, school staff who volunteer to seek a professional permit to undergo training, including how to respond to an active shooter. Senator Sarah Trone-Garriott, a Democrat from Waukee, says the required training is not rigorous enough.


Senator Molly Donahue, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids who’s a teacher, says the legislature should be taking other kinds of steps to protect students.


The bill won approval in the Iowa House weeks ago, but Senate Republicans removed a section of the bill that would have established state grants for schools that hire private security or police to patrol school buildings. The bill, which goes back to the House for review, still requires Iowa’s largest school districts to have a police officer or private security guard inside each high school building.



Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that lets Iowa law enforcement arrest and deport people who are in the country illegally. Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson reports.




The Le Mars Community School Board approved their fiscal 2024-25 budget at their meeting Monday. Superintendent Dr. Steven Webner says the tax levy under the new budget continues to fall.


The board had to take a tight view of revenues and expenses because they at the time did not know the level of state spending available to them.


Dr Webner says now that the matter of supplemental aid is resolved, the tax levy will fall further.


The amount of supplemental state aid will increase, but it’s declining because of enrollment shifts.


The recommended budget for the Operating Fund is some 28.3 million dollars.  The beginning fund balance is to be an estimated 9.3 million dollars, with an ending balance of 8.9 million.



The Le Mars Middle School recently celebrated it’s 50th annual carnival.  This is a fundraiser for various projects at the school.

Many parents found themselves remembering their adventures at the carnival when they were students.

Michelle Reeves, returned to the carnival with her daughter Ashlynn.  She remembers her own middle school carnival 33 years ago and is glad everything is still going strong.


Dustin Reideman, says whether it’s the old-fashioned games, or seeing teachers that he remembers from school, it’s great to see everyone is still having a great time.


Former LCHS assistant principal and current principal at LCMS, Kyle Formanek, says everything with the carnival went well.


Formanek also says that the staff at LCMS are prepared and help pull the event together.


the money that is raised will hopefully be used to fund field trips for each grade level.

For the full story and to see pictures from the carnivals of past and present, visit our website at klem1410.com



Governor Reynolds says she will not consider any changes in the law she signed two weeks ago that overhauls Area Education Agencies.

The new plan takes effect in the 2025-26 school year. A-E-As will get 90 percent of the state funding they use now to provide specialized services, like speech therapy, to students with disabilities. The Des Moines Register was first to report that some House lawmakers were hoping to adjust a different part of the plan. The new law will let school districts spend 68 MILLION dollars however they wish rather than on general education and media services which have been provided by A-E-As. Reynolds says schools can spend that money on A-E-A services — or on anything else.


Some school administrators have said they plan to use that chunk of new money on teacher salaries and other expenses. A-E-A officials have said they’re having staffing issues as employees resign due to uncertainty about the system’s future. Reynolds says the A-E-As were top heavy and are being right-sized by the plan.


The A-E-A changes were the governor’s top priority for the 2024 legislative session.



The governor will soon have an opportunity to put her signature on a bill that requires egg substitutes as well as plant-based or lab-grown meat sold in Iowa to be clearly labeled. Republican Senator Dawn Driscoll of Williamsburg says it started out in the Senate as a meat integrity bill, but the House added its special seasoning, so now the proposed penalties for misleading labels would apply to products that resemble eggs, too. Driscoll is promising that next year she’ll help address some of the concerns raised about that addition, but 13 Senate Democrats voted against the bill. Senator Janet Petersen of Des Moines says once the governor signs the bill — public schools, the state universities and community colleges will not be able to buy egg substitutes for the food served in lunch rooms and cafeterias. Liquid egg substitutes can be cheaper if prices for eggs climb due to supply chain issues — and experts say about two percent of children are allergic to eggs.



The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services says two babies were given up in March. through the Safe Haven program. H-H-S says a baby girl, born March 17th and a baby boy, born March 20th were given up and will be placed with foster families until permanent placement is determined. The two babies bring the total 68 which have been turned over under the law that was created more than two decades ago after an infant who was strangled was found abandoned in a snowbank in Chelsea. Parents can turn a baby over with no questions asked at hospitals, police and fire stations. H-H-S says these are the first babies turned over in 2024, and ten infants were turned over in 2023.