Despite a tough overall legislative session for public education, there were still wins worth highlighting. Read more about these successes and the full bill summaries.
Defeat of vouchers
Elimination of the Praxis exam required before teacher licensure (HF 2081)
Operational sharing (HF 2080)
Protected the annual estimates by the Department of Revenue for purposes of SAVE calculations (SF 2367)
Exempted teacher bonuses paid using federal funds from Iowa income tax (SF 2367)
Increased the earnings that a retired teacher can have under the IPERS system (SF 2266)
Created a mental health loan repayment program (HF 2549)
FY 2023 Education Appropriations Act – HF 2575: The legislature appropriated a total of $992.9 million in the FY 2023 Educations Appropriation Bill. This is an increase of $20.5 million (2.1%) compared to FY 2022. The bill includes funding for the Department of the Bind, the College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education (for administration and other PK-12 grant programs), and the Regent Universities and schools.
This table provides select information on the appropriations provided to the Department of Education. The overall increase for these programs totals $9.7 million (3.2%). Changes of note include:
An increase of $200,000 for general aid for the Early Childhood Iowa Program.
An increase of $3.5 million for the Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates Program (IJAG).
A decrease of $950,000 for the Iowa Reading Research Center. The Center currently estimates an $800,000 carry forward balance from FY 2022 that will be used in FY 2023.
An increase of $200,000 million for children’s mental health training. This funding is appropriated to the AEAs to provide training, support and services in the area of student mental health.
An increase of $6.5 million (3.0%) for Iowa’s community colleges.
An increase for the Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Fund of $725,000 to reflect the per pupil increase in supplemental state aid for FY 2023.
HF 2589 – Standing Appropriation: The Standings Appropriations Act included the following that directly impacted K-12 education funding:
A state aid reduction to the area education agencies (AEAs) totaling $17.1.0 million for FY 2023. This includes maintaining the FY 2022 reduction amount of $15.0 million and an additional reduction of $2.1 million that will eliminate the funding for AEA professional development for FY 2023.
No state funding for the instructional support program in FY 2023. The program has not received any state funding since FY 2011 and is currently funded solely with local taxes.
Other provisions impacting public school districts:
Elimination of the March 1 deadline for open enrollment. This provision will allow open enrollment throughout the school year. Additionally, it specifies that the Department of Education write emergency rules to implement this new law.
Adds a “college and career transition counselor or coordinator” to the positions eligible to be shared and generate supplementary weighting for shared operational functions. Along with the enactment of HF 2080, supplementary weighting for positions will be as noted in the table for sharing provisions and supplementary weighting amounts starting in the 2022-23 school year (note that funding for these sharing provisions will be generated starting in FY 2024). The items in yellow represent the changes and include:
HF 2579 – Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) Appropriation: The RIIF budget deals with several outdoor and administrative projects but does appropriate $600,000 dollars to the Department of Education for continued development and implementation of an educational data warehouse to be used by teachers, parents, administrators, and AEA staff. The DE can use some of the money for an e-transcript system that tracks students throughout their education via connection with multiple schools.
These bills ensure Iowa educators have the training and support they need to be effective in the classroom, from teacher prep programs to ongoing professional development.
HF 2081 – Teacher Assessment Requirements: This bill eliminates the requirement that teacher preparation programs administer a preprofessional skills test to students entering a teacher preparation program. The bill strikes the requirement that a candidate for teacher licensure pass the PRAXIS test. The bill allows a “look back” provision for candidates for licensure who failed the PRAXIS prior to implementation of this legislation. Those candidates can update their status with the BOEE and if they meet all the requirements for licensure, they can be licensed.
The bill also matches Iowa code requirements with administrative rules that requires students accepted into teacher prep programs to complete eighty hours of pre-teaching field experiences and those participating in the teacher intern program to complete fifty hours of pre-teaching field experiences. The bill goes into effect when signed into law.
IASB registered in support of the bill to help remove barriers to entry into the teaching profession. The bill passed the House by a vote of 94-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 46-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 13, 2022.
These bills cover any money coming into the school district and how it should be spent.
HF 2080 – Operational Sharing Weighting: This bill increases the operational sharing supplementary weighting of superintendents from 8 pupils to 9 pupils. The change ensures that districts can reach the maximum of 21 for purposes of shared operational positions and incentives. The bill adds School Resource Officers (SRO) as a shared position.
A district can receive weighting if they share a person with another school district even if they are not in the same position if both functions are eligible for weighting. Both positions do not have to be eligible for sharing incentives if the school district is sharing an employee who is a special education director.
IASB registered in support of the bill as it fixes an issue from last year’s operational sharing weighting legislation that made it impossible for some districts to reach the maximum of 21 for operational sharing positions. The bill passed the House by a vote of 87-1 and passed the Senate by a vote of 45-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 13, 2022.
HF 2316 – Supplemental State Aid: This bill sets the supplemental state aid (SSA) rate at 2.5%, decreases the district cost per pupil inequity by $5 and provides money to bring districts down to the statewide average in transportation costs. The bill also extends the property tax replacement payment to school districts.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as the amount of increase is not sufficient for the increased costs districts are facing but are supportive of the provisions to close the cost per pupil and transportation inequities. The bill passed the House by a vote of 57-39 and passed the Senate by a vote of 31-17. Governor Reynolds signed the bill on February 17, 2022.
These bills encompass almost anything else that pertains to school districts, from new charter school rules to elections.
HF 771 – Self- Administration and Storage of Bronchodilators: This bill adds bronchodilators to the definition of medication that can be self-administered by students. The bill requires the same requirements to be met for the self-administration or use of bronchodilator canisters with or without a spacer by students as already required for epi pens. The bill expands the ability of licensed health care professionals to prescribe bronchodilator canisters and spacers to be stored at schools and allows authorized personnel to administer bronchodilators.
IASB registered opposed to the bill because it puts districts, and specifically school nurses, in the position of making decisions about administering medication to students without a doctor’s note or parental permission. The bill passed the House by a vote of 95-0 last session and passed the Senate by a vote of 44-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 14, 2022.
HF 2165 – Eligibility for Last Dollar Scholar: This bill expands the eligibility to a person who is an adult learner and is enrolled on a part time basis in an eligible institution to receive the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholar. Currently, a student who is enrolled part-time is not eligible.
IASB registered in support of the bill to allow more people to be eligible for the grant. The bill passed the House by a vote of 77-12 and passed the Senate by a vote of 44-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 13, 2022.
HF 2298 – COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements: This bill prohibits requiring a person, whether attending in-person or virtual, to get a COVID-19 vaccination before enrolling in a licensed childcare center, elementary or high school, or postsecondary school prior to July 1, 2029.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as these decisions are best made by health care professionals in conjunction with parents. The bill passed the House by a vote of 57-36 and passed the Senate by a vote of 29-16. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 14, 2022.
HF 2416 – Athletic Participation Based on Gender: This bill allows only biological females to participate in female sports. To determine gender, the bill states that a student must use the sex designated on their birth certificate. The bill also outlines several other provisions:
Tort liability and protections will not apply to districts or district employees if they do not comply with the legislation
A student or district suffers direct or indirect harm because of complying with the bill they would have the right for legal action
Prohibits a governmental entity from investigating a complaint or taking negative action against a district or employee for complying with the law
Provide immunity to a district from liability to any student for complying with the law
Requires the Attorney General to provide legal representation at no cost for the district if they are sued for complying with the law, and assumes all costs for any expense related to the lawsuit or complaint
Includes Regents Universities and Community Colleges
IASB registered in opposition to the legislation because it puts districts in the untenable position of having to decide whether to comply with state law or the federal executive order that prohibits discrimination based on gender. The bill passed the House by a vote of 55-39. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 31-17. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 3, 2022.
HF 2573 – School Personnel Administering Narcan: This bill aims at reducing opioid use but includes provisions relating to the administration and storage of Narcan by school personnel. The bill adds “school employee” as someone eligible to administer opioid antagonists. School districts can obtain a prescription for Narcan and maintain a supply in a secure location in a building where a student may need this medication.
IASB registered neutral on the bill because districts have the option to get a prescription for the medication. The bill passed the House by a vote of 91-4 and passed the Senate by a vote of 44-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 13, 2022.
SF 183 – Construction Manager At-Risk: This bill allows government entities (schools included) to use guaranteed maximum price contracts for public improvement projects by using a construction manager at-risk. Governmental entities cannot use a design-build contract for the construction of public improvement projects.
IASB is registered neutral on the bill because it takes some risk and responsibility away from districts, but we have concerns about the process and how it impacts districts’ decision-making. The bill passed the House by a vote of 53-44, after previously passing the Senate last session by a vote of 28-19. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 14, 2022.
SF 2266 – IPERS Retirement Income Cap & School Board Member Compensation: This bill raises the earnings limitations for retired IPERS recipients (including teachers) from $30,000 to $50,000 to help encourage more retired teachers to come back into the profession to fill shortages in classrooms. The bill also increases the compensation amount a school board member can earn from a school district from $6,000 to $20,000 a year, granted there is not a conflict of interest.
IASB registered in support of the bill because this has been a collective effort between all education organizations to help meet the need of getting more teachers into the classroom. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0. The bill passed the House by a vote of 98-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 23, 2022.
SF 2383 – Governor’s Workforce Initiative: This is Governor Reynolds workforce bill. The bill has several divisions, but a few related to schools:
Adds a work base learning supervisor position and has the Board of Educational Examiners create a certificate for the position and outline the rights, responsibilities, and qualifications of the certificate
The certificate will not be more than 15 contact hours and can be available over the internet and provide instruction related to the fundamentals in career education, curriculum, assessment, and evaluation of student participation
The school board will advise students on how to successfully complete the FAFSA prior to graduation
Establishes procedures to expedite the licensing of a military spouse who is licensed in a similar job in another state and married to an active-duty military member.
A person would receive a provisional license if they did not have the proper scope of work until they took the necessary requirements to get a full license.
An individual can receive a license without an exam if they meet all requirements outlined by the BOEE
Requires the BOEE to waive the fee for a first-time applicant in Iowa for licensure if their household income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty line (language eliminated in HF 2575)
Requires the BOEE to waive an initial application fee and one renewal fee for an applicant that has been honorably or generally discharged from the military
Waives fees for a veteran with at least a 25% disability connected to service
IASB is registered neutral on bill as the provisions will help students with finding a career path, and getting teachers licensed in a streamlined manner. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and passed the House by a vote of 70-24. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 16, 2022.
HF 2493 – Para- Educator Licenses: This bill allows a school district to hire a para-educator as a substitute teacher in any classroom in grades PK–12, excluding a driver’s education class for the 2021–22 school year. Before hiring the para, the district must make a good-faith effort to hire a substitute teacher, who is not a para-educator for the position. The para must receive the higher amount of either the district’s substitute rate or the para-educator’s rate of pay.
IASB registered in favor of this bill because it sunsets the governor’s emergency rule at the end of the school year because this should not be a long-term solution to substitute shortages. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96–0. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 47–0. Governor Reynolds vetoed the bill saying that districts still want and need this flexibility.
HF 2009 – Management Levy to Fund SROs
HF 2082 – TIF Revenues to School Districts
HF 2083 – Teach Iowa Scholar Eligibility
HF 2100 – Alternate Energy Innovation Program
HF 2151 – Electronic Fingerprint Submission to BOEE
HF 2159 – Teacher License Reciprocity Task Force
HF 2187 – Supplementary Weighting for School-Based Mental Health Funding
HF 2218 – Filtering Social Media Sites at Schools
HF 2283 – Dropout Prevention and At-Risk Funding
HF 2315 – Supplemental Appropriations
HF 2385 – Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse for Children Older than 12
HF 2421 – Teacher Intern Programs & Other Licenses Issued by BOEE
HF 2580 – AEA Funding Equity
HSB 574 – School Start Date
HSB 684 – Licenses Issued by BOEE to Out-of-State Teachers
SF 2026 – Teach Iowa Scholar Applicant Priority
SF 2081 – Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund Disbursements
SF 2149 – Preschool Funding
SF 2163 – Mental Health Service Providers Competitive Grant Program
SF 2348 – Modified Supplemental Amounts for Open Enrollment
HF 2176 – Penalties for Obscene Material in Libraries
HF 2177 – Cameras in Classrooms
HF 2182 – Consolidating AEAS
HF 2184 – Adding Non-Voting Members to the School Board (student, parent, and teacher)
HF 2223 – Establish Iowa Hope Scholarship Program
HF 2263 – Modifying Social Studies and Personal Financial Literacy Standards
HF 2418 – Modifying Socials Studies Standards
HF 2500 – Alternative Teacher Licensure
HF 2545 – Medical Privacy and Freedom Act (preventing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination)
HSB 683 – Exceptions to Mask Mandates for Any Student
SF 2025 – Prohibits Use of School Bathrooms that Do Not Correspond with Biological Sex
SF 2095 – Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Relating to Sexual Abuse of a Minor
SF 2136 – Establish Standards for Religious Social Studies Courses
SF 2238 – Primary Elections for School Board Members
SF 2364 – Penalties for Obscene Materials in School Libraries
SF 2369 – Vouchers
SF 409 – Filing Complaints with Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB)
HF2019 – Advanced Opportunities Program Scholarship
HF2020 – Teacher Preparation Program Standards
HF2090 – Standards for Governmental Entity Trainings
HF2148 – Teacher Resignations
HF2158 – Student Teacher Substitute Authorizations
HF2185 – Advanced Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement Program
HF2197 – Expanding Definition of “Licensed Health Care Provider”
HF2254 – Allowance for Online Learning Days
HF2294 – Crisis Telephone Line on Student ID Cards
HF2302 – Cybersecurity Programs
HF2398 – Teacher Renewal Credits
HF2417 – Athletic Eligibility for Open Enrollment Students
HF2498 – Open Enrollment, Requirements for Teacher Librarians, and Special Education Placements
HF2543 – Independent Contractors as Dyslexia Service Providers
HF2577 – School District Transparency
HSB601 – Sentencing of Public Officials
HSB691 – Payment for Ransomware Attacks
SF2024 – Gender Identity Curriculum
SF2037 – Prohibiting the Teaching of Certain Concepts
SF2044 – Remedies for Wrongful Accusation of Corporal Punishment
SF2079 – Immunization of Children for Enrollment in Child Care Centers or Schools
SF2207 – Prohibiting Public Money to Pay for Ransomware Attacks
SF2248 – Changes to School Aid Calculations
SF2274 – Public Records for Iowa Public Television
SF2306 – Admissions Fees for High School Events
SF2351 – Requiring Cursive Instruction
SF2356 – Volunteer Substitute Teachers
SF2357 – Requirement for Board Member Voting
SSB3112 – Administration of Medical Cannabidiol in Education Institutions
SSB3139 – Adding Crossbow Instruction into PE Curriculum