Legislative Update for 04/04/2020

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Legislative Update for 04/04/2020

Shanlyn Seivert

Greetings! I hope this update finds you well and adapting to the new normal.

In my legislative update, dated March 19, I shared that the legislature agreed to suspend the legislative session until April 15, due to the COVID-19 crisis. On Thursday, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, and in response, the legislature determined that the session would remain suspended until at least April 30.  

The proclamation also orders the closure of schools until April 30, waiving the instructional time requirement, as long as school districts put in place a continuous learning plan. In response to the proclamation, the Department of Education (Department) held a webinar for school administrators and education stakeholders to review continuous learning guidance and answer questions. 

The Department has hosted several webinars to discuss ongoing guidance and FAQs on a variety of COVID-19 related topics. Those webinars are recorded and can be found on the Department’s YouTube web-page. Additionally, if you visit the Department’s COVID-19 web-page, you will find resources and guidance that cover several topics including: Procedures for Continuous Learning, School Meal Resources, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) waivers and Resources for Families and Educators.    

The conclusion of the legislative session was scheduled for April 21, which falls within the suspension date. Once the session resumes, the Legislative Council is authorized to shorten or extend the legislative session as needed to ensure the work is completed. In the meantime, legislators continue to work on budget and policy legislation using video conferencing and other means. 

As information becomes available, I will keep you updated. Until then, stay well and be safe! 

Shan Seivert
Policy Advisor/Legislative Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
Cell: 515-326-5595
Office: 515-281-3399