Legislative Update for 02/25/2022

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Legislative Update for 02/25/2022

If you look at the session timeline, you’ll notice that April 19th is noted as the 100th day of the session. You’ll also see a note indicating why that is important - the per diem for expenses ends. So, ultimately, this is the date targeted for the session to wrap up. That said, I heard from someone (who heard from someone, who heard from a legislator…) that the goal for the session is to be done in 90 days. If true, we are about halfway there and, given movement on several big ticket items this week, doesn’t seem completely outside the realm of possibility. 

The Legislature spent most of the week in session to move legislation that cleared the first funnel. On the education front, we saw passage of the following bills out of the respective chamber:

  • Senate File 2081 (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. Passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and was sent to the House.
  • SF2128 (previously SSB3047) - updates terminology in statute regarding English learners and accreditation organizations of institutes of higher education. Passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and was sent to the House.
  • SF2362 (previously SSB3104) - includes numerous provisions related to school finance, directs the Department to convene a task force to review healthcare related training for school personnel. Passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and was sent to the House.
  • House File 2080 (previously HF2037) - increases the shared operational function weighting for superintendent from eight to nine pupils. Passed the House by a vote of 94-0 and was sent to the Senate.
  • HF2083 (previously HSB51) - relates to grants issued under the Teach Iowa Scholar program. Passed the House by a vote of 97-0 and was sent to the Senate. 
  • HF 2416 (previously HF2309) - requires that high school sports be classified as male, female or coeducation/mixed, and requires participation in the sport based on the individual’s sex at birth. Specifies that only female students may participate in sports designated as being for females. As amended, aligns more closely to SF2342 by including collegiate athletics. Passed the House by a vote of 55-39 and was sent to the Senate.

Closing the loop on the bills that survived the first funnel, below is a list of House bills that are eligible for floor debate (last week we reviewed those in the Senate, which you can view here).

  • HF2081 (previously HSB520) - relates to the requirements for teacher preparation programs, including striking the pre-professional skills test requirement.
  • HF2082 (previously HSB521) - relates to the collection of foundation property taxes against taxable property within an urban renewal area containing wind energy conversion property.
  • HF2148 (previously HSB518) - sets specifications for the timeframe by which a teacher is to submit a written resignation to the employing board of directors. 
  • HF2165 (previously HSB541) - permits students to enroll part-time in an eligible program under the Future Ready Iowa last dollar scholarship program.
  • HF2170 (previously HSB581) - relates to earnings limitations for retirees under the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System.
  • HF2186 - permits a school district to contract with a dyslexia specialist to provide technical guidance and assistance.
  • HF2197 (previously HSB517) - adds a person who holds a doctorate in psychology with specialty training in neuropsychology and concussion management to the definition of licensed health care provider as it relates to concussion and brain injury policies for extracurricular activities. 
  • HF2218 (previously HF2052) - permits a school district to filter certain internet sites.
  • HF2294 (previously HF2109) - requires the inclusion of the phone and text numbers of the Your Life Iowa program on student identification cards issued by a school district.
  • HF2298 (previously HF2040) - relates to COVID-19 immunization requirements and attendance at certain centers and educational institutions. 
  • HF2315 (previously HSB658) - establishes K-12 funding supplement of $19.2 million for use in fiscal year 2023. Passed out of the House by a vote of 94-1.
  • HF2385 (previously HSB527) - relates to mandatory reporting and sexual exploitation by a counselor, therpist, or school employee. 
  • HF2398 (previously HSB656) - exempts a practitioner holding a masters or doctoral degree from practitioner licensure renewal requirements. 
  • HF2409 (previously HSB611) - updates terminology and references to English learners and accrediting organizations for postsecondary institutions.
  • HF2412 (previously HF2264) - requires radon testing in public schools.
  • HF2417 (previously HF2139) - modifies the athletic eligibility wait period following transfer into a school district from 90 school days to 90 calendar days.
  • HF2418 (previously HF2099) - relates to social studies instruction including United States and Iowa history, civics, and civil discourse. 
  • HF2421 (previously HSB632) - establishes standards for teacher intern license programs and related licenses and authorizations issued by the Board of Educational Examiners. 
  • HF2493 (previously HSB720) - permits a certified paraeducator holding a substitute authorization to substitute in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 for the current school year.
  • HF2495 (previously HF2306) - establishes a transition and postsecondary program scholarship for individuals with intellectual, developmental, or learning disabilities.
  • HF2498 (previously HSB705) - modifies provisions related to open enrollment, special education services to students under competent private instruction, and licensure requirements for teacher librarians. 
  • HF2499 (previously HSB706) - requires the adoption of transparency policies by local school boards and modifies provisions related to social studies instruction. 
  • HF2500 (previously HF2085) - establishes a temporary initial teaching license for individuals who complete an alternative teacher certification program.
  • HF2505 (previously HSB702) - relates to mandatory reporting of abuse of children, processes for the reporting and investigation of violations of law by licensed practitioners, and the membership of the Board of Education Examiners.
  • HF2527 (previously HSB682) - the Governor’s workforce bill with provisions including, but not limited to, work-based learning data reporting and modifications to individualized career and academic planning processes related to work-based learning and FAFSA completion.
  • House Study Bill 672 - the Governor’s education bill requiring the adoption of transparency policies by local school boards, establishing a student first scholarship program, modifying provisions related to social studies instruction, and modifying provisions related to dual enrollment, open enrollment, and teacher librarians. 

Already we are seeing subcommittee and committee work resuming next week, though it can be expected that floor debate will again take up a significant amount of time. We will continue to monitor the progress of relevant bills and report back next week. In the meantime, please refer to the Department’s legislative resources page and feel free to contact me with any questions.

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