Research & Advocacy

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Advanced Mapping Tool

The ISFIS Advanced Mapping Tool provides an entirely new way for school districts and public policy makers to understand school finance and other data-driven issues facing Iowa school districts.  Thousands of variables from taxes to expenditures, student demographics to achievement, can be analyzed and compared within this tool.  This service in included as part of the ISFIS Basic Subscription.

Legislative Tracking and Advocacy

ISFIS Partner Margaret Buckton represents the Urban Education Network as a legislative liaison, and the Rural School Advocates of Iowa as the Professional Advocate.  ISFIS Partners’ 70+ years combined public policy expertise can help guide you through the legislative process.  Other services, such as direct lobbying, bill tracking, and geocoding/mapping are available on a time and charges basis.

Public Policy Research

ISFIS staff puts its decades of collective public policy research experience to work, with expertise in education funding, enrollment and other demographic forecasting, state and local tax policy, and economic development case impact studies. We are also available to provide a critical review of other public policy research reports for accuracy and legitimacy.  Recent examples include understanding the impact of TIF on school budgets, reviewing history of class size funds, understanding value-added assessment models and rewriting the Iowa School Finance Formula.


ISFIS annually prepares a Legislative Digest summarizing all current Session actions impacting schools and advising districts. The ISFIS Digest of the Legislative Session provides a history and links to important information to help you and your staff comply with requirements and find opportunities available to your district. This Digest also provides a good springboard for conversations with your local legislators and/or your school boards. This document is large, so please be patient for the download - it's worth the wait.  View the PDF here. View the PDF here.