Legislative Update for 02/18/2022

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Legislative Update for 02/18/2022

Welcome to First Funnel Friday (I’m sure that I’m the first to use that term…TM pending). As mentioned last week, since we have officially passed the first legislative funnel we can begin to take stock of the bills that made it over this hurdle. 

But first an update on K-12 funding. The Senate on Monday took up House File 2316, which passed the House last week. The Senate substituted the bill for its own K-12 funding bill, Senate File 2204, and in so doing agreed to the provisions in the House bill including a 2.5 percent increase to allowable growth and a $5 increase to the state cost per pupil. It also funds transportation equity payments, makes changes to the property tax replacement formula, and exempts the bill from statutory deadlines for passing K-12 funding following submission of the Governor’s budget recommendations. Following debate on the bill, HF2316 passed the Senate on a 31-17 vote. The bill went to the Governor and was signed into law yesterday (February 17). House File 2315, the K-12 funding supplement that passed in the House, was not considered by the Senate.

Okay, time for “the list.” To frame what follows, given the volume of bills I decided to break the list in two. This week the focus is on Senate bills, and next week - you guessed it - we’ll focus on the House. The vast majority of these bills went through the Senate Education committee, but a few came through others such as State Government or Judiciary. And while this may not be an exhaustive list of bills impacting education, it’s pretty darn close and you will get a good sense of the topics that will be discussed and debated over the next few weeks. 

  • SF 89 - requires a school district to incorporate cursive handwriting instruction into the K-6 curriculum.
  • SF2079 (previously SSB3004) - calls for the uniform implementation of required immunizations as established by the state board of health and supersedes and preempts any locally adopted requirements established by a local government entity. 
  • SF2080 (previously SSB3005) - prohibits the administration of “invasive” physical examinations, and provides definitions.
  • SF2081 (previously SSB3002) - extends use of a grant received through the computer science professional development incentive fund through September 20 of the year following the award year.
  • SF2107 - requires the Department to convene a working group to study the impact of technology on cognitive learning.
  • SF2112 - directs the Department to convene a working group to explore achievement disparities between groups of students.
  • SF2128 (previously SSB3047) - updates terminology in statute regarding English learners and accreditation organizations of institutes of higher education. 
  • SF2129 (previously SSB3046) - makes part-time students eligible for the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship program.
  • SF2197 (previously SF168) - directs the Department to convene a task force to review special education supports for students enrolled in nonpublic schools. 
  • SF2198 - relating to obscene materials in schools and providing penalties. 
  • SF2202 (previously SSB3067) - pertains to teacher recruitment and licensure by making modifications to the Teach Iowa scholar program, licenses issued by the Board of Educational Examiners, and the use of the management levy to support teacher recruitment incentives. 
  • SF2203 - includes provisions related to procedures and membership of a local board of education. 
  • SF2205 (previously Senate Study Bill 3079) - regarding the rights of students enrolled in school districts and charter schools, and parents and guardians of such students.
  • SF2291 - permits a para-educator with a substitute endorsement to substitute teach in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 for the remainder of the current school year. 
  • SF2306 (previously SF2239) - prohibits a school district from charging an admissions fee for admittance to certain events. Establishes an appropriation within the sports wagering receipts fund to offset lost revenue.
  • SF2342 (previously SSB 3146) - Requires that college and school sports be classified according to the sex of the team members, including  categories for mixed or co-ed. Limits participation on teams for girls to students who were listed as female on their birth certificates.
  • SSB3103 - permits the School Budget Review Committee to grant supplemental aid based on significant open enrollment into a school district. 
  • SSB3104 - includes numerous provisions related to school finance, directs the Department to convene a task force to review healthcare related training for school personnel.
  • SSB 3080 - proposed Governor’s education bill with provisions including but not limited to  school transparency, education scholarships, and social studies instruction.
  • SSB 3085 - authorizes school districts to utilize the services of volunteer, appropriately-licensed substitute teachers. 

Still with me?? Wonderful! Next week, we anticipate that floor debate will kick into gear in order to get bills moving between the chambers. If you are interested in watching the floor debate, you can access a live video stream of the Senate and the House via the Iowa Legislature’s website. There you can also find a tentative debate schedule (i.e., a list of bills planned for consideration on the floor) for both chambers.

I hope you found this summary useful, and, as I always mention in closing, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments. During the week you can keep tabs on what’s happening at the Capitol by monitoring the Department’s legislative information page, which includes a legislative tracker updated daily.

Eric St Clair
Legislative Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Cell: 515-729-0859