2023 Legislative Session Bill Summaries

These are summaries of bills that are moving through the legislative process. Because there are a large number of education bills introduced each legislative session, we only provide summaries of bills that have a passed a committee in the House or Senate. 

If you have further questions on any of these bills or any that have been introduced, please contact IASB Lobbyist Emily Piper or IASB Government Relations Director Michelle Johnson.

Standards & Accountability

HF 611 – Physical Activity Requirement: This bill would require at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day for students in the form of recess. The intent of the bill is to prevent recess being taken away as a punishment for students.

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. We want to ensure that no additional instructional time for P.E. is required, just adding 30 minutes of recess each day. The bill passed the House Education Committee.

HF 348 – Prohibiting Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Instruction: This bill prohibits a school district from providing any curriculum, material, test, survey, questionnaire, activity, announcement, promotion or instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in kindergarten through 6th grade. The bill was amended on the House floor to provide legal representation from the state if a civil action is brought against a school district for following this legislation. The state also assumes any financial liability as a result of a lawsuit. 

 IASB is registered opposed to this bill because gender identity and sexual orientation are protected from discrimination in education in Iowa’s Civil Rights code, specifically Chapter 216.9. At the federal level, school districts are vulnerable to civil rights complaints filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights because gender identity is protected under Title IX. The bill passed the House by a vote of 62-35.  

HF 132 – Social Studies Instruction: This bill adds a comparative teaching of political ideologies to the social studies standards, specifically how communism and totalitarianism are in conflict with democracy and freedom. 

IASB is registered undecided on the bill to monitor any changes to standards. It passed the House Education Committee. 

Fiscal Responsibility & Stewardship

HF 632 – Using SAVE for Cybersecurity: The bill clarifies that SAVE dollars may be used for cybersecurity improvements in school districts.   
 
IASB is registered undecided as we thought these expenditures were already authorized under the definition of “information technology,” but support districts using their SAVE dollars for this purpose. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-0. 

HF 459 – Operational Sharing Incentives: This bill restores the supplementary weightings from four to five and two to three pupils for eligible positions. The committee amended the bill to include a special education director as a position now eligible for a supplementary weighting of five pupils. Additionally, the cap is increased to 25 pupils, up from the current 21. 

IASB is registered in support of the bill because it provides additional opportunities for districts to take advantage of shared operational function incentives. The bill passed the House Education Committee.

HF 68 – Education Savings Accounts: This is the governor’s education savings account plan. The bill outlines a three-year plan for fully implementing the program.  

  • Year One: All public school students and nonpublic school students whose families make at or below 300% of the federal poverty level are eligible.  

  • Year Two: All public school students and nonpublic school students whose families make at or below 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible.  

  • Year Three: All public school students and all nonpublic school students are eligible.  

Each education savings account is funded with $7,598. School districts will receive $1,205 for each resident student that uses an ESA to attend a nonpublic school, including students who have never enrolled in the public school but are a resident of the district.  Additionally, the bill extends operational sharing incentives until 2034. 

IASB is registered opposed. Public schools accept all students, are accountable to their communities, parents and taxpayers for the funds they do receive, and provide transparency that is not required of private schools. The bill passed the House by a vote of 55-45, passed the Senate 31-18, and was signed into law by Governor Reynolds on January 24, 2023. 

HF 360 – Shared Operational Functions: This bill adds an Information Technology Specialist as a potential shared position for school districts. The position would receive a supplementary weighting of four pupils and would be eligible for sharing incentives in the upcoming budget year.  

IASB is registered in support of the bill because it provides more districts the opportunity to have the expertise of an IT specialist; however, with the cap still at 21 pupils, we worry that districts won’t be able to take full advantage of sharing all the eligible positions. The bill passed the House Education Committee.  

HF 339 – Vacant School Building Demolition Grant: This bill would establish a grant program to provide for demolition of vacant school buildings. Grants would be limited to districts with a population of less than 2,500. 

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. It passed the House Economic Growth and Technology Committee.

SF 192 – Supplemental State Aid: The House and Senate have come to an agreement on this year’s supplemental state aid rate: 3%. At this rate, the regular per pupil amount will increase by $222, making the FY 2024 per pupil amount $7,635. This means 72 districts will be on the budget guarantee for a total of $5.5 million.  

Additionally, transportation aid will also increase by 3%, an increase of $880,000 for a total of $30.3 million. 204 districts will receive aid.  

This bill also provides funding for the property tax replacement payment. It extends this property tax relief provision through FY 2024. It increases state aid by $15.3 million and will total $114.8 million in FY 2024. This is dollar-for-dollar property tax relief and increases the cost of state aid without providing new money to districts. The per pupil property tax relief amount is $201. Meaning of the $7,635, $201 of that is pure property tax relief. 

IASB is registered undecided. We know that 3% is not sufficient to cover the rising costs districts face, but we appreciate that it’s higher than the original proposals of 2% or 2.5%. SF 192 passed the Senate by a vote of 34-15. It passed the House 59-40, with four Republicans voting no: Representatives Ingels, Jones, Lohse, and Moore. The bill was signed into law by Governor Reynolds on February 7, 2023. 

SF 246 – Equalization of Dropout Prevention/At-Risk Funding: This bill was introduced with the help of IASB. It addresses the inequity in dropout prevention and at-risk funding over a period of five years. As it stands now, districts must remain at the percentage of their total regular program cost that they spent on dropout prevention and at-risk in 2013. While some districts are at the maximum of 5%, some districts are still at the minimum of 2.5%, creating an inequity. 

This legislation creates a phase-in approach to getting all districts to the maximum of 5%, if they want to and their districts have the need. It starts with districts currently at 2.5% and allows them to increase their spending by .5% each year. In the next year, districts currently at 3% could increase by .5% and so on. Every district could be at the 5% maximum, if needed, after five years.  

IASB is registered in support of this bill. We are always looking for avenues to reduce and eliminate inequities in school funding, and this legislation will benefit many districts. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee.  

SF 247 – Additional Aid for Districts with Large Open Enrollment: This bill would allow the School Budget Review Committee to grant supplemental aid or a modified supplemental amount to districts where open enrolled students make up 35% or more of the total enrollment. If a district wants to apply for this additional aid, the board must hold a public hearing. 

IASB is registered in support of this bill because it provides more funding for districts with a large number of open enrolled students. It passed the Senate Education Committee. 

SF 251 – Limiting Administrative Costs: The bill limits administrative costs to 5% of a school district’s budget. It provides a new definition of administrative costs: “school district purposes or activities that do not directly relate to student instruction or to the activity of students, but instead support the program delivery and development activities including but not limited to salaries for administrators and office staff, school administration, general administration, and data processing and collection services.”  

IASB is registered against the bill because we have concerns about the new definition and how districts will be able to comply with the new law while still ensuring a well-functioning school district. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 36-12. 


SF 356 
– Local Property Taxes: This is a large property tax bill encompassing cities, counties, and school districts. The impact to school districts is limited to the elimination of the Public Education and Recreation Levy (PERL).

IASB is registered opposed to the bill, as PERL funds are voter-approved and beneficial in the school districts that have them. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

SF 546 – Website for Publishing Public Notice Requirements: The Secretary of State will maintain a website designated for posting public notices. The website will be searchable by entity, like school district, or by topic, like meeting minutes. Each notice will cost $5 to post on the website. If enacted, school districts will be required to publish a notice three times in the newspaper saying that future public notices will be on the website and include the website address.  
IASB is registered in support since this will streamline the public notice process and save money for school districts while still ensuring the community is informed. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Educator Quality

HF 604 – Teacher Protection and Removing Disruptive Students: This bill allows teachers to 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.  

It was amended on the House floor to address some of the initial concerns we had with the bill. Teachers must report any incidents of violence that result in injury or property damage or assault by a student to the principal. The principal then must notify the parent of the student who caused the incident within 24 hours of the teacher reporting it. Teachers may notify the parents of a student who suffers from the incident of violence.  

Additionally, the bill outlines a process for removing disruptive students from the classroom. Each district must have a policy that provides for escalating levels of discipline each time a student is removed. The student may be removed under supervision from a school resource officer or an administrator. 

 

  • First removal: student meets with the school counselor and is placed in one day of in-school suspension. 
  • Second removal: student meets with the school counselor and is placed in five days of in-school suspension.   
  • Third removal: a school district may permanently remove the student from the teacher’s class and must consider placing the student in an alternative learning environment, such as a therapeutic classroom.

IASB is registered undecided on the bill as a result of the amendment made by the House. It helps focus the bill on violent incidents by students and ensures administrators and teachers work together to address problems. However, we still have concerns and are working with the other education stakeholders to address those concerns. The bill, as amended, passed the House by a vote of 89-6.   

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 is registered undecided on the bill. We think it’s a good way to get more teachers into Iowa classrooms but want to ensure they’re meeting all standards for licensure. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-0 and the Senate Education Committee. 

HF 608 – Seizure Disorder Training for School Staff: The bill requires all school staff to undergo training to recognize the signs of a seizure and how to administer seizure first aid and continue that training every other year. If requested by a parent, a school must develop a seizure action plan that’s shared with any school staff responsible for the student throughout the day.   

IASB is registered against the bill because school staff are already required to complete so many training courses and this will add to the list. Additionally, parents of students with a seizure disorder are already working with schools to ensure staff know how to react in the event of a seizure. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-1. 

SF 392 – Teacher Intern Program, Teach Iowa Scholar, Recruitment Incentives: This bill has three important sections:

Teacher Intern Program Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree that meets the requirements of an endorsement area 
  • Offer of employment from a school district 
  • Pedagogy training 
  • Work under the supervision of a teacher leader 

Teach Iowa Scholar Program Changes:

  • Half of the grants will be awarded to those teaching in a district with enrollment less than 1200; half will be awarded to those in districts with enrollment more than 1200

Teacher Recruitment and Retention Incentives: 

  • Boards may establish a teacher recruitment and retention incentive program. They cannot pay more than 10% of a beginning teacher salary annually or pay the incentive for more than five years. 
  • Recruitment and retention incentives may be paid from the management fund. 
  • Districts must choose recruitment and retention incentives or early retirement but cannot do both at the same time. 

IASB is registered in support of the bill, as it offers a streamlined approach for teacher candidates without sacrificing the necessary education and training required to be an effective teacher. Additionally, we support districts being able to use their management fund for recruitment and retention incentives. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee.

HF 355 – 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 Education Committee. 

HF 255 – Teacher Intern Program & Alternative Licensure: This bill establishes the requirements for attaining a teacher intern license and a license through an alternative program. To obtain a teacher intern license, candidates must: 

  • Have a bachelor’s degree that meets requirements of an endorsement area   
  • Have an offer of employment from a school district   
  • Complete pedagogy training   
  • Work under the supervision of a teacher leader

To obtain a license from an alternative program, the requirements are:   

  • Have a bachelor’s degree   
  • Complete an alternative teacher certification program   
The alternative program can be online, including pedagogy training but does not require student teaching or in-classroom experience. The bill was amended on the House floor to require a practicum for teacher candidates getting an endorsement in special education.   

IASB is registered opposed to this bill. We are supportive of a more robust teacher intern program, but we cannot support alternative licensure that does not require any student teaching or have any limitations on grade level or endorsement area. The bill passed the House by a vote of 61-36. 


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 is 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 Education Committee.  

 

HF 323 – Student Teacher Stipends: This bill would allow school districts to pay a stipend to student teachers. A district could not pay more than the lowest annual teacher salary in their district, and the stipend would be prorated to the number of days spent student teaching in the district.  

IASB is registered undecided. We are generally supportive of providing a stipend to student teachers, but we do have a concern that this could create an inequity among districts based on their ability to provide a stipend or not. The bill passed the House by a vote of 69-26.

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 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. 

 

Governance

SF 507 – Prevention of ESG Investing by Public Entities or Public Funds: Public entities, like a school district, will not be allowed to enter a contract for investment services that exceeds $50,000 with a company that engages in “ESG investing,” which means they consider environmental, social and governance factors, rather than just profit. Public funds, like IPERS, will also be prevented from entering a contract with a company that provides investment services if that company engages in ESG investing. 

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. It passed the Senate by a vote of 33-16 and passed the House 63-34. 

HF 553 – Affirmative Defense for Cybersecurity Incidents: This bill lays out the requirements for using an affirmative defense if there’s a cybersecurity breach. A cybersecurity program must provide protection of personal information and evaluate the loss from a data breach. The program must conform to an industry-recognized cybersecurity framework.  

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. It passed the House by a vote of 97-0.  

HF 654 / SF 543 – Weapons on School Grounds: The bill allows guns to be in an employee’s vehicle while they are at work, which includes at a school. Guns would also be allowed in school transportation vehicles if the person has a concealed carry permit. Additionally, school district insurers would be required to provide liability insurance for guns on school grounds by someone other than an SRO. A committee amendment says a vehicle in the school parking lot with a gun in it must remain locked if unattended, but someone in their vehicle picking up or dropping off at the school may have a gun in their vehicle.   

IASB is registered against the bill because it takes away local control from school districts by not allowing them to ban guns from their property. Additionally, insurance premiums will likely increase as a result of insurance companies having to cover the liability of guns on school grounds. The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee. 

HF 597 – Age-Appropriate Library Materials: The bill lays out the goals of a school district’s library program, which is to be supervised by a teacher-librarian. The bill was amended in committee to state that a district’s library program be designed to “support the student achievement goals of the total school curriculum.” It also defines age-appropriate and requires that all material in a school’s library follow that definition.  

IASB is registered undecided on the bill, as it helps school districts know which material they should select for their libraries but at the same time restricts the type of materials that can be provided to students. The bill passed the House by a vote of 60-37. 

HF 602 – Suicide Prevention Hotline on Student ID Cards: This bill requires school districts to print the phone and text numbers for Your Life Iowa on student ID cards for students in grades 7-12.  
 
IASB is registered in support of this bill. It’s an easy and practical way for students to have access to an important lifeline in a time of crisis. The bill passed the House by a vote of 91-4. 

HF 620 – Failure to Use Pronouns or Name: This bill states disciplinary action cannot be taken against school staff or another student for failing to use the student’s chosen name or pronouns.  

IASB is registered undecided. The bill passed the House Education Committee. 

HF 658 – Student Liaisons on the School Board: The bill requires school boards provide an opportunity for a student liaison to the board. An amendment in committee clarifies that the student representative will not be present at special meetings or meetings about school personnel or student discipline.  

IASB is registered opposed to the bill. We welcome student input at board meetings and many boards already have a student liaison, but we don’t like the mandatory aspect of this bill. The bill passed the House Education Committee. 


HF 610 – Excused Absences for Autism-Related Care: This bill requires schools to grant an excused absence to a student with autism who is at a doctor’s appointment or receiving services that generally assist students with autism, such as applied behavioral analysis.   

IASB is registered against the bill. When students miss extended school time, it makes it difficult for schools to follow the student’s IEP and ensure the student is receiving a free appropriate public education as required under federal law. The bill passed the House by a vote of 97-0. 

SF 485 – Open Enrollment Transportation: This bill allows a receiving district to send vehicles into the district of residence to transport an open-enrolled student without the approval of both districts’ school board. An amendment in committee limits the distance from the resident district boundary to two miles in order to pick up the student. 

IASB is registered undecided on the bill as it allows a receiving district to make the choice to transport an open-enrolled student. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee. 

SF 482 – Prohibiting Entering Restroom that Doesn’t Match Biological Sex: This bill prohibits school districts from allowing a student to use a multiple occupancy restroom, changing room or other facility that does not conform with the student’s biological sex.  It does allow a district to make accommodations for any student, for any reason, if the student seeks additional privacy.  The parent/guardian must consent to such request.  The bill is effective upon enactment. Learn more about SF 482.  

IASB is registered opposed to the bill as it creates legal uncertainty for districts and the potential that a district could be sued under either state or federal law.  The bill passed the Senate 33-16 and the House 57-39.  It now goes to the governor for her signature. 

SF 484 – School Finance Formula Review Committee: This bill requires the school finance formula review committee to meet during the 2023 interim. They will address disparities between urban and rural districts, on-time funding, and the impact of COVID-19. The committee amended the bill to ensure the committee would meet this year instead of 2024, which was the originally scheduled date for the committee to meet.  

IASB is registered in support of the bill, as we agree that it’s important to review our school funding formula to ensure it is meeting the needs of all school districts. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 50-0.   

SF 496 / HSB 222 – Parental Rights and School Transparency: This bill, proposed by Governor Reynolds, has several sections covering library materials, instructional materials, school district transparency, and parental rights. The key points of the bill, as amended on the Senate floor, are: 

  • Each district’s library program must support the achievement goals of the school curriculum and contain age-appropriate materials.

  • Age-appropriate materials do not contain descriptions or pictures of a sex act defined in Iowa Code section 702.17. 

  • Students must pass the U.S. citizenship test to graduate. 

 

Transparency - Districts must publish all of the following on their website: 

  • A list of everyone in contact with students 

  • Explanation of the policies in place to allow parents to request removal of materials used in the classroom or library. 

  • Explanation of the policies in place to request a review of the school board’s decisions, including the petition process. 

  • A policy allowing parents to review instructional materials used in their student’s classroom and a method for parents to request their student not receive certain materials. Each parent must receive a copy of this policy every year. 

  • The district’s library catalog. Districts that don’t already have this capability will have until July 1, 2025 to provide an electronic catalog of their library books. 

 

Parental Rights 

  • A district must notify a parent or guardian if a child expresses a gender identity different than their birth certificate, unless that notification would result in harm to the child.  

  • Districts must receive written consent from a parent before changing a student’s pronouns. 

  • Districts must receive parental consent before administering an examination or survey on students’ mental, physical, or emotional health. Districts must also provide a copy or link to the survey; however, this doesn’t apply to hearing or vision exams. 

  • Districts must receive written consent from a parent before requiring a student to take survey related to topics like political affiliation, sexual behavior, mental or psychological problems of the student or family members, religious beliefs, or income. 

 

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Instruction 

  • Districts cannot provide any curriculum, program, survey, material, activity, announcement or materials relating to gender identity or sexual activity to students in grades K-6.  

IASB is registered against the bill. It is burdensome for school districts with many more opt-in requirements, rather than the opt-out option that exists for parents currently. We believe schools already provide much of the transparency outlined in this bill and are confident districts will continue to provide parents access to instructional materials. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-16. 

HF 430 – Mandatory Reporters, Complaints Against Practitioners, BOEE Makeup: This bill was significantly amended in committee and includes all full-time school employees as mandatory reporters of child abuse. It requires boards to develop a process for reporting and investigations when a school employee is engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student. The process will require boards to finalize the investigation, even if the employee resigns or is terminated during the investigation. An amendment on the House floor requires that finalized investigation to be provided to the BOEE. For employees not licensed by the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE), the board must collect and retain all reports of a violation and tell a future employer about the reports.  

For employees licensed by the BOEE, districts must follow the reporting and investigation process and not intentionally conceal an incident. Failure in either of these will result in a fine from the BOEE against an administrator. For employees not licensed by the BOEE, the fine will be issued by the Department of Education.   

An investigation must be limited to the allegations made in the complaint. There must be adequate time between receiving the complaint and public notice of the complaint. The conduct must have occurred within three years of the complaint and must be resolved within 180 days. The public must be notified when a licensed practitioner is the subject of an ongoing investigation.   

The bill also changes the membership makeup of the BOEE. An amendment on the House floor requires the BOEE to consist of five parents or guardians, five licensed practitioners, including an administrator and special education teacher, and one school board member.    

IASB was registered undecided on the original bill, but due to the committee amendment, we changed our registration to opposed when the renumbered bill came out. The two main reasons for our registration change are: (1) it requires districts to complete an investigation even if the employee is no longer with the district and (2) the BOEE, like all other professional licensure boards, should be primarily composed of licensed practitioners.  It passed the House by a vote of 68-29. 


HF 429 – Intra-District Enrollment: This bill was amended on the House floor and allows parents to enroll their student at a different attendance center in their district if they report evidence of peer-to-peer bullying. The evidence of bullying must be reported by a school employee or on video recorded at the school. In order for the student to move attendance centers, there must be sufficient classroom space and any necessary special education services available at the new building.   

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. We don’t want students in a location where bullying is occurring, but districts already have anti-bullying policies in place to help resolve these situations. The bill passed the House by a vote of 95-0. 

HF 409 – Required Public Comment at Regular and Special School Board Meetings: This bill requires school boards to have 30 minutes of public comment at each regular and special board meeting.  

IASB is registered against this bill, as we believe boards are already offering public comment at regularly scheduled board meetings. Additionally, some special board meetings are only five minutes, but will now be required to have 30 minutes of public comment time, even if no one is there to speak. The bill passed the House Local Government Committee.  

SF 398 – Robotics Clubs: This bill directs the Department of Education to provide resources to school districts that want to establish or maintain a robotics club or team that adheres to the requirements of a Career and Technical Student Organization.   

IASB is registered in support of this bill because it provides valuable experiences for students interested in robotics and their future career goals. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0. 

SF 389 – Achievement Gap Workgroup: This bill establishes a working group to determine causes and provide possible solutions to the achievement gap, specifically among different racial and ethnic groups. 

IASB is registered in support because any proposed solutions will help school districts ensure all students are achieving success. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee. 

SF 390 / HF 370 – IASB Flexibility and Deregulation Bill: This bill was brought forward by IASB based on input and suggestions from our members. It provides flexibility and modernizing updates for school boards and districts. Read a summary of all the changesThe bill was amended by the House to allow school board members to have access to and review curriculum, library materials, and materials used in required professional development of school employees. School board members are also allowed to observe classroom instruction if they give appropriate notice to the superintendent, principal and teacher. Another amendment clarifies that if a student who has previously dropped out, returns to school and drops out again, their dropout will only be counted once and won’t affect the school’s performance grade.  

IASB is registered in support of this bill because we believe these changes will help boards and districts to function more efficiently. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-0. SF 390 has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee. 

HF 350 / SF 202 – Public Records Requests: This bill lays out the steps that must be followed upon receipt of a public records request. First, the bill requires you to promptly acknowledge receiving the request. Second, it requires you to, within a reasonable amount of time, provide a date by which the estimated cost and records will be provided. Finally, it requires you to notify the requestor that the record does not exist or cannot be released because it is confidential.  

IASB is registered undecided on the original bill and worked with legislators to amend it to ensure it was workable for school districts. The bill passed the House by a vote of 96-0. 

HF 134 – Transporting Open Enrolled Students: The bill allows a receiving school district to send vehicles into a sending district to transport open enrolled students, without approval needed from both the sending and receiving districts’ school boards.  

IASB is registered undecided on the bill because it is the receiving district’s choice to transport an open enrolled student. It passed the House Education Committee. 

HF 315 – Approved Bus Driver Courses: Bus drivers must complete an entry-level driver training course and the Department of Education must accept that training, provided it includes passenger and school bus endorsements. A bus driver is still required to complete an approved school bus driver course at least every 24 months. 

IASB is registered in support of the bill, and it passed the House Education Committee. 

HF 180 – Parental Notification of Gender Identity: This bill prohibits school districts from: 

  • Making accommodations for a student’s gender identity if it is different than the sex on their birth certificate. 

  • Encouraging or coercing a student from sharing information on their gender identity with their parent or guardian. 

  • Withholding or giving false information to a parent or guardian on a student’s gender identity or intention to transition to a gender different than the sex listed on their birth certificate. 

  • Encouraging, pressuring, or coercing a student to undergo gender affirming medical treatment. 

  • Encouraging, pressuring, or coercing a student’s parent or guardian to allow the student undergo gender affirming medical treatment.  

IASB is registered opposed to this bill. It passed the House Education Committee.  

HF 253 – Charter School Student Extracurricular Participation: This bill allows charter school students to participate in extracurricular activities at their resident school district. Each student that participates will be counted as 1/10th of a pupil for enrollment purposes, which amounts to $741 for the school district.   
 
IASB is registered undecided on the bill but welcomes charter school student participation in extracurricular activities. It passed the House by a vote of 93-1.

HF 327 / SF 391 – Governor's Education Flexibility Bill: This bill was proposed by the governor and includes changes in several areas:  

  • Eliminates references to the “comprehensive school improvement plan,” but still requires a report to the Department of Education to be in compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Districts must still have a plan for everything that was included in a comprehensive school improvement plan, they just don’t have to compile it into one plan.  
  • Removes requirement for teacher librarians to have a master’s degree and allows a district to hire a librarian who worked for a public library.  
  • Limits virtual instruction to 5 days or 30 hours. 
  • Eliminates enrollment threshold (600 students) for allowing a community college to teach a course in a district. The community college can teach any course and is no longer limited to math or science courses. The good faith effort requirement to find a licensed teacher for these courses before turning to the community college is removed.   
  • Allows sequential courses to be taught in the same classroom.   
  • Decreases the required years of a world language from four to three.
  • Provides a P.E. exemption for students enrolled in a school-sponsored activity.  
The bill was amended on the Senate floor to clarify that schools that operate primarily with online instruction will still be allowed and are not subject to the limit of five days or 30 hours. The amendment also allows the requirements of financial literacy to be met through coursework in different classes and the half credit of personal finance literacy is not required for graduation. The bill was again amended on the House floor to reinstate the CPR graduation requirement. 

IASB is registered in support of this bill because it generally offers school districts additional flexibility. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 33-16 and passed the House, as amended, by a vote of 62-34, returning the bill to the Senate for consideration of the House amendment. 


HF 333 – Filing Complaints with IPIB:
This bill allows complaints to be filed with the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) within 90 days, extending it from the current 60 days. 
The bill passed the House by a vote of 95-0.

SF 202 / HF 350 – Public Records Requests: This bill lays out the steps that must be followed after receiving a public records request. First, the bill requires you to promptly acknowledge receiving the request. Second, it requires you to, within a reasonable amount of time, provide a date by which the estimated cost and records will be provided. Finally, it requires you to notify the requestor that the record does not exist or cannot be released because it is confidential. 

IASB is registered undecided on the original bill and worked with legislators to amend it to ensure it was workable for school districts. The bill passed the Senate State Government Committee. 

SF 248 – Impact of Technology on Students Working Group: The bill establishes a working group to study the impact of technology on the cognitive functions of students. The goal of the working group will be to provide recommendations on the best use of technology in educational settings. 

IASB is registered in support of this bill because we know technology is important in education and as students transition to the workforce but want schools to be able to mitigate any negative effects to the best of their ability. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee. 

Signed by Governor

SF 482 – Prohibiting Entering Restroom that Doesn’t Match Biological Sex: This bill prohibits school districts from allowing a student to use a multiple occupancy restroom, changing room or other facility that does not conform with the student’s biological sex.  It does allow a district to make accommodations for any student, for any reason, if the student seeks additional privacy.  The parent/guardian must consent to such request. The bill is effective upon enactment. Learn more about SF 482.   

IASB is registered opposed to the bill as it creates legal uncertainty for districts and the potential that a district could be sued under either state or federal law. The bill passed the Senate 33-16 and the House 57-39. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 22, 2023, making the bill effective immediately.  

Ask Me icon For questions, email Michelle Johnson or Emily Piper.
 

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