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 256 - Minimum Age for Licensure by BOEE: This bill allows the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) to issue a para-educator certificate to an applicant who is 18 years or older.
IASB registered undecided on the bill. We see the advantages of being able to get more people into the classroom once they complete their certification but did express concerns about an 18-year-old being placed in a classroom of high school students. The bill passed the House by a vote of 95-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 3, 2023.
HF 604 – Teacher Protection and Removing Disruptive Students: This bill provides school districts with a framework to address violent students without being overly prescriptive and allowing for local control.
Teachers can file a complaint with the ombudsman’s office if there’s violence in their classroom that they feel hasn’t been addressed by the school’s administration. Retaliation in the form of disciplinary action against teachers for reporting an issue to law enforcement or the ombudsman is prohibited.
Teachers must report to the principal, within 24 hours, any threat of violence or incident of violence that results in injury, property damage or assault by a student. Teachers may notify the parents of the student who made the threat or caused the incident and the parents of the student to whom the threat or incident was made. The principal must notify, within 24 hours of the teacher reporting it, the parents of the student who made the threat or caused the incident and the parents of the student to whom the threat was made or the violence occurred.
Additionally, the Department of Education will develop model polices for different grade levels that school districts would use to address threats of violence or incidents of violence resulting in property damage or assault. The policies must:
Incorporate strategies that are designed to correct the student’s behavior
Provide for parental conferences and, if appropriate, mental health counseling sessions
Be consistent with all state and federal laws and regulations that apply to special education
Provide escalating levels of discipline each time the student makes a threat of violence or causes an incident
Allow the school district to select the level of discipline they determine is appropriate for the level of violence
Allow the school district to suspend, expel, permanently remove from a class, or place a student in an alternative learning environment, such as a therapeutic classroom
If a student who makes a threat of violence or causes an incident has an individualized education program (IEP), there must be an IEP meeting
Be published on the district website and in the student handbook
Districts must provide a student handbook to the parent of each student, and parents must acknowledge that they received a copy, either electronically or in writing.
IASB is registered undecided on the bill because of the flexibility provided to districts. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0 and passed the House by a vote of 94-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 26, 2023.
HF 614 – Out-of-State Teacher Licensure: This bill allows teachers to be licensed in Iowa if they have a full license from another state or country, have met all the requirements for licensure in another state except any assessment required by the state, or the applicant completed a teacher prep program in another country.
IASB registered undecided on the bill. We think it’s a good way to get more teachers into Iowa classrooms but wanted to ensure they’re meeting all standards for licensure. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 26, 2023.
HF 672 – License Renewal Requirements for Advanced Degree Holders: This bill removes renewal requirements for teachers and administrators who have a master’s or doctoral degree and have been practicing for ten years. If they hold an evaluator approval endorsement, that still must be renewed every ten years. Additionally, they will still be subject to a background check every five years.
IASB is registered undecided on the bill, but we are generally supportive as it removes one burden from experienced teachers and administrators, while still requiring regular background checks. The bill passed the House by a vote of 98-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 26, 2023.
SF 250 – Disbursements from Computer Science Professional Development Fund: This bill allows funds from the computer science professional development incentive fund to be spent through September 30 in a given year, rather than requiring them to be spent by the end of a school district’s fiscal year (June 30).
IASB is registered in support of this bill because it offers more flexibility and provides teachers more time to take advantage of this professional development over the summer, instead of limiting them to the fiscal year. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 50-0 and the House by a vote of 95-0. The bill was signed into law by Governor Reynolds on May 3, 2023.