SF 130—Board Member Compensation:
This bill allows school board members who earn income as substitutes, food service workers or bus drivers to exceed the $6,000 compensation limit. This provision is only effective
for the current school year.
IASB proposed this legislation and is registered in support of the bill because it allows districts to utilize these board members during the pandemic. The bill passed the Senate by a 47-0 vote and passed the House in a 96-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 8, 2021.
SF 160—School Instruction Options:
This bill requires a district to offer a 100% in-person education instruction option. Parents will have five days after notification by the district to select 100%
in person for their child. Districts maintain the authority to seek a waiver to less than primarily in person instruction and include the number of teachers absent due to Covid-19 as well as shortages of substitutes, food service workers
and bus drivers. Districts must provide 100% in person instruction to those who request it on the first Monday two weeks after enactment (February 15). Districts who do not comply cannot count those days toward their instructional
IASB registered neutral on this bill and worked with legislators to provide districts additional flexibility to obtain a waiver to move to online learning and to extend the compliance deadline. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on January 29, 2021.
SF 269—Supplemental State Aid:
This bill sets the supplemental state aid (SSA) rate at 2.4%. The bill includes an additional $10 to close the district cost per pupil gap and provides $800,000 in additional
money to buy districts down to statewide average for transportation costs.
IASB opposed the original Senate bill but changed its registration to neutral with the House amendment. The bill passed the House on a 56-36 vote and passed the Senate on a 31-18 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on Feb. 23, 2021.
SF 285—Eligibility for Iowa Opportunity Program:
The bill allows a student participating in the Iowa Opportunity scholarship program to suspend, in addition to deferring participation in the program
up to two years if the student meets specific requirements or if a student is fulfilling a military commitment.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as this affects students who have already graduated high school but does allow those within the program flexibility to continue their education. The bill passed out of the Senate on a 48-0 vote and passed the House on a 96-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 8, 2021.
SF 289—Education Flexibility:
This bill updates or eliminates several provisions in law to give school boards and AEAs additional flexibility. These provisions include:
IASB registered in support of the bill and brought these issues forward after hearing from school boards and AEAs on ways to provide additional flexibility. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and passed the House by a vote of 93-0. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 22, 2021.
SF 466—Concussion Protocol Health Care Providers:
- Updates the threshold AEAs must meet to request approval from the Department of Education when entering into a purchase or lease agreement to the competitive bid threshold.
- Reduces publication requirements AEAs must meet when posting their budget to their website and a newspaper of general circulation.
- Extends a board presidents term an additional month in even numbered years to help close the prior fiscal years’ books in a timely manner.
- Eliminates duplicative reporting for districts on dues paid to IASB and a report on community strategies for early literacy. IASB already collects dues information and will report it to the Department of Education.
- Allows district flexibility to deposit proceeds from a sale of a school building to any account after holding a public hearing.
- Eliminates requirement boards must publish an additional meeting notice before entering into a loan agreement on equipment purchases as boards already publish their agendas.
- Eliminates the energy audit report districts submit every five years.
This bill adds occupational therapists to the list of providers that can make determinations on brain and concussion injury policies. The current
list of providers helps decide when a student should be removed from athletics or returned to an extracurricular activity due to concussion concerns.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as it provides districts flexibility in providing care for students during athletic events. The bill passed the House on a 91-2 vote after previously passing the Senate on a 48-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 30, 2021.
SF 517—Student Participation in Legislative Page Program:
This bill states school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must grant students who participate in the legislative page program one-half
unit of social studies credit towards graduation and waives the physical education requirement for the students in the program.
IASB registered in support of the bill because of the real-world learning opportunities the page program provides high school students. The bill passed the House on an 82-9 vote after previously passing the Senate on a vote of 44-1. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 19, 2021.
SF 532—Statement of Professional Recognition:
This bill directs the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) to create a statement of professional recognition for behavioral analysts and by January 1,
2022, a statement of professional recognition for mental health professionals. The House adopted an amendment stating that the BOEE rules require any mental health professional providing mental health services to schools must obtain
this statement unless a professional license or endorsement has already been issued to the individual by the BOEE.
IASB registered in support of the bill because this statement will ensure that behavioral analysts and licensed mental health counselors will be compensated by school districts for their work with students. The Senate concurred with the House amendment on a 46-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 93-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 10, 2021.
SF 562—Sexual Exploitation by Adults:
This bill adds adults providing training or instruction to a minor into the law regarding sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee. The
bill states these individuals added into the law are not employed by the district and are providing training and instruction outside of the school setting. The Senate amended the bill to eliminate the statute of limitations for bringing
criminal charges against trainers, teachers or school employees for sexual exploitation of a minor.
IASB registered in support of the bill as it protects students who participate in outside sporting teams or clubs. The House passed the bill on a 84-2 vote after previously passing the Senate on a 48-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 12, 2021.
SF 578—Local Farm Produce Programs:
This bill creates a farm-to-school fund and program in the state treasury under the control of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The department
will reimburse districts, up to $1,000, for expenses on produce, fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, milk or dairy products, honey, maple syrup, shelled water foods, and shelled eggs during the school year. To be eligible for
the program, schools must:
IASB registered neutral on the bill because this deals with multiple issues but is supportive of the department helping schools with this program. The bill passed the Senate on a 48-0 vote and passed the House on an 86-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 8, 2021.
SF 615—Standings Bill:
- Apply to the Department of Agriculture to participate
- Buy food products from an instate farmer (unless a school buys from an out of state business but the produce was sent by an instate farmer), or if their district borders another state, the farm can be in another state, but that
farm must be located within thirty miles of the school district’s border.
- The Department will require proof of purchase before reimbursement.
- The Department will reimburse a school $1, for every $3 spent on local foods.
This appropriations bill is generally the vehicle for the end of session including policy initiatives that legislators didn’t accomplish during the legislative session.
The legislature continued the past practice of reducing funding for the AEAs by $15 million and eliminating the state funds for the instructional support levy. The bill appropriates nearly $9 million for nonpublic transportation services.
IASB is registered neutral on the bill as is general practice on appropriations bills. The bill passed the Senate on a 46-0 vote and passed the House on a 55-31 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 9, 2021.
HF 228—Voluntary Diversity Plans:
This bill eliminates the ability of a district with a voluntary diversity plan to reject an open enrollment request if it conflicts with their diversity plan. Five
districts have such plans and use them to maintain a ratio of socio-economic status within their buildings. The Senate amended the bill to waive the March 1st open enrollment deadline for the 2021-2022 school year if a district had
a diversity plan. The amendment also makes the bill effective upon enactment.
IASB registered opposed to the bill because research shows students perform better with a diverse student make up and this bill takes away the ability of a district to keep their districts more diverse. The House approved the Senate amendment on a vote of 56-37. The bill previously passed the Senate on a 29-17. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 10, 2021.
HF 308—Eligibility Requirements for Concurrent Enrollment:
This bill allows a student to qualify for concurrent enrollment classes if they have shown proficiency in reading, math, and science based
on assessment scores. Currently, students must meet specific requirements, and this provides an alternative route for students to take these courses. The school district and community college must jointly adopt proficiency measures
that students must meet.
IASB registered in support of the bill because this provides more ways for students to earn college credits based on a student’s overall performance and not based on a specified test. The bill passed the House on a 93-0 vote and had previously passed the Senate by a 48-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 8, 2021.
HF 315—Programs for At-Risk Children:
This bill allows money appropriated to the Department of Education to assist schools in developing program plans and early childhood education needs can also
be used by the AEAs for the same purpose. The bill also strikes language about grant awards given to school districts needing to be a combination of preschool and full-day kindergarten.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as this cleaned up language and deals with AEA programs. The bill passed the Senate on a 44-0 vote after previously passing the House by a 93-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 30, 2021.
HF 317—Funding for Children in Certain Facilities:
This bill modifies the calculation used to determine the amount of funding a school district can request by changing the calculation from number
of months to number of days that a student is enrolled in the district in order to provide education services to children living in approved or licensed shelter home or other approved facilities.
IASB is registered neutral on the bill as it works to provide additional information on how this will affect school districts. The bill passed the Senate on a 47-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 94-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 30, 2021.
HF 386—District Reporting Requirements:
This bill removes the requirement that districts report expenditures to the Department of Education from any non-profit entity that is associated with the district.
Districts are still required to report information to the community.
IASB registered in support of the bill because it eliminates burdensome reporting requirements. The bill passed out of the Senate on a 48-0 vote and the House version had previously passed on a 94-0 vote. The bill goes to Governor Reynolds for her consideration. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on March 8, 2021.
HF 602—Student Activity Fund:
This bill allows districts to transfer general funds to the student activity fund to cover cocurricular and extracurricular activities. The board must pass a resolution
before making a transfer. Districts will be able to make transfers to the student activity fund by July 1, 2023. The bill covers district extracurricular and cocurricular activities from March 15, 2020 through June 30, 2022.
IASB registered in support of the bill because this fund has suffered loss of revenue due to the pandemic and limiting fans while having the same expenses. The bill passed the Senate on a 48-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 96-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 10, 2021.
HF 605—ELL Weighting:
This bill divides English proficient students into two categories based on proficiency and provides additional weighting for those students. Students identified as “Intensive
student” will get an additional .26 weighting. Students identified as “Intermediate student” will get an additional .21 weighting. This change will be effective for the 2021-2022 school year.
IASB registered in support of the bill as it increases weighting for ELL students to help them gain English proficiency. The Senate passed the bill on a 46-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 96-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 30, 2021.
HF 675—Substitute Teacher Authorizations:
This bill allows a person with a substitute authorization license to teach in a PK-12 grade class for not more than ten consecutive days if they have at least
an associate degree and not less than sixty undergraduate hours. The bill clarifies that someone seeking substitute authorization must still undergo a background check, pay applicable fees, and successfully complete the substitute
authorization course. An administrator can also file a written request to the Board of Educational Examiners for an extension of the ten-day limit.
IASB registered in support of the bill because it gives districts flexibility in finding substitute teachers to cover longer teacher absences. The bill passed the Senate on a 46-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 93-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 19, 2021.
HF 722—Teach Iowa Scholar Program:
This bill allows money collected from the teacher shortage loan program to be deposited in the Teach Iowa Scholar Program. The bill strikes language creating the
Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Repayment Fund and any remaining funds in that account and the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgivable Loan Repayment account on June 30, 2021 will be directed to the Teach Iowa Scholar Program.
IASB is registered in support because this program is designed to help keep and hire teachers in hard to fill positions as outlined by the Department of Education. HF 722 passed the Senate on a 48-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 93-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 20, 2021.
HF 744—First Amendment Protections:
This bill requires school boards to protect the intellectual freedom of students and faculty and to establish policies outlining free speech protections. An employee
could face disciplinary action by the Board of Educational Examiners if a school board or a court finds that employee discriminated against a student or employee of the district. The bill addresses several additional issues:
IASB registered in support of the bill because it protects student and employee first amendment rights. The bill passed the House on a 92-1 vote and the Senate passed the bill on a 48-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 20, 2021.
HF 756—Firearm Omnibus:
- If a college student organization is found to have knowingly or intentionally violated the first amendment rights of a student or group, the institution can withhold that group’s funds for up to one year;
- Removed language creating a three member “Free Speech” committee on the Board of Regents as the regents already do this.
- Allows the Board of Educational Examiners to deny or revoke a license if a person knowingly and intentionally discriminates against a student’s free speech.
- School boards must adopt written publication codes that outline all provisions of free speech required under state code.
- Prohibits that a school employee be dismissed, suspended, disciplined or terminated for protecting a student in engaging in free speech activities.
This bill allows individuals to carry a firearm without a conceal carry permit. And the bill eliminates the ability to charge someone with a misdemeanor if they carry or transport
an unloaded firearm onto school grounds if the firearm is in a secured container or securely wrapped package. The bill does not prohibit school boards from adopting a policy that prohibits guns on school grounds.
IASB registered opposed to the bill because it creates the perception that it is okay to carry guns on school grounds. The bill passed the Senate on a 31-17 vote after previously passing the House on a 60-37 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 2, 2021.
HF 770—Licensure Renewal Requirements:
This bill requires that rules adopted by the Board of Educational Examiners allow an individual to earn up to half of the credits needed for licensure renewal
by completing an individualized professional development plan or by completing courses or programs offered by a professional development program, practitioner preparation institution or an AEA approved by the state board of education.
IASB registered in support of the bill because it provides flexibility for teachers to obtain licensure renewal. The bill passed the Senate on a 46-0 after previously passing the House on a 92-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 19, 2021.
HF 793—Physical Education Requirement Exemption:
This bill allows a student enrolled in a junior reserve officers’ training corps to be exempt from the physical education graduation requirement.
The student will receive 1/8th P.E. credit for each semester that student is enrolled in the program.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as IASB generally opposes the exemption of educational requirements, but the JROTC physical training standards would more than meet the physical education requirements. The bill passed the Senate on a 46-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 92-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 20, 2021.
HF 802—Diversity and Inclusion Training:
This bill prohibits any mandatory staff or student training or curriculum from teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts including but not limited
- One race or sex is inherently superior to another.
- Iowa or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist.
- An individual, based on that person’s race or sex is inherently or systematically racist, sexist, or oppressive.
- Individuals should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment based on their race or sex.
- An individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
- An individual should feel guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress based on that person’s race or sex.
- Any other form of race or sex scapegoating or stereotyping.
The Senate amended the bill and made the following changes:
- Eliminates the term “divisive concepts” and replaces it with and defines “specific defined concepts.”
- Clarified the definition of “government entity” to mean any state governmental unit and any association or organization whose budget consists primarily of taxpayer dollars (this would include IASB).
- Prohibits any training that promotes, encourages, advocates or prejudices towards others based on demographic group membership or identity.
- States that employees or contractors providing mandatory training can respond to questions regarding stereotyping, scapegoating or prejudice if asked in a training.
- Specifies that curriculum can include sexism, racism, segregation or laws that implemented these policies.
- Prohibits school districts from discriminating against employees based on political ideology Removes student newspaper protections as that language was added to HF 744.
The bill also prohibits any curriculum that includes specific defined concepts but also allows the teaching of divisive content as part of the general academic instruction.
IASB registered neutral on the bill but has concerns as this could affect the way districts choose curriculum and inadvertently limit the ability to teach controversial material. The bill was approved, as amended, by the Senate on a 30-18 vote, and the House passed the bill on a 53-35 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 8, 2021.
HF 813—Charter School Expansion:
This bill gives authority to private entities to open a charter school outside the direction of a locally elected school board. A school board may also form a founding
group to request permission from the state board of education to establish a charter school. The bill was amended by the House to address some issues:
IASB registered in opposition to the bill because IASB’s legislative platform specifies charter schools should be under the direction of the school board. Schools already provide innovative and flexible program offerings to meet the needs of students. The bill passed the Senate on a 30-18 vote after previously passing the House by a 55-40 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 19, 2021.
HF 828—Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Fees:
- Limits a charter school contract to five years.
- Requires the governing body of a charter school to comply with open meeting requirements.
- Requires the governing body to post its budget on the charter school’s website.
- Requires an applicant to specifically list which state statutes or rules it does not intend to comply with the application is approved.
- Requires a governing body of a charter school to be comprised of at least 50% of residents in the geographic area served by the school AND requires all members of the governing body to be residents of the state.
- Requires the state to directly pay the charter school for students who were not previously enrolled in a public school.
- Requires the resident district to pay special education costs of a student enrolled in a charter school AND requires the charter school to submit documentation to the resident district to seek Medicaid reimbursement.
This bill allows the Department of Transportation (DOT) and counties certified to issue CDL’s to charge a $25 dollar fee for acquiring that
license. IASB raised concerns over the impact this could have on districts’ ability to find bus drivers and the additional cost districts could incur if they pay the cost for drivers to obtain their CDL. The bill prohibits the
DOT and counties from charging fees for bus drivers to obtain their CDL.
IASB registered neutral on the bill because it does not require new bus drivers to pay those fees to obtain their CDL. The bill passed the Senate on a 48-0 vote after previously passing the House by a vote of 95-1. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 20, 2021.
HF 847—Education Omnibus:
This bill includes multiple policy changes including inserting language in code that says “a school corporation is entrusted with public funds for the purpose of improving
student outcomes, including but not limited to student academic achievement and skill proficiency, and the board of directors of the school corporation is responsible for overseeing such improvement." Other changes include:
- Creates a flexible student and school support program to use innovative methods for student learning.
- Allows districts to transfer unobligated funds from the TLC program into the district's flexibility account.
- Adds work-based learning coordinator and special education directors as eligible positions for operational sharing incentives.
- Reduces certain positions from a five-pupil weighting to a four-pupil weighting and certain positions from a three-pupil weighting to a two-pupil weighting.
- Adds additional good cause exemptions for making enrollment requests effective May 20, 2021.
- Waives the athletic eligibility waiting period for open enrolled students if both the sending district board and the receiving district board agree, effective May 20, 2021.
- Provides up to a $500 tax deduction for expenses incurred by teachers.
- Increases the tuition tax credit amount spent for textbooks and other educational expenses for both public and private school students to 25% of the first $2,000.
- Increases school tuition tax credit from 65% to 75%.
- Increases the STO cap to $20 million dollars, from $15 million, beginning January 1, 2022.
- Creates a process to reduce the teacher salary supplement fund balances by making payments to teachers.
- Prohibits K-12 schools from mandating face masks effective May 20, 2021.
- Public schools must administer the pledge of allegiance in grades 1-12 each day.
- Students and a student’s parents can choose to opt out.
Made several changes to the charter school legislation (HF 813):
IASB registered neutral on the bill after several changes were added to the bill to balance the provisions we support with those we oppose. The bill passed the Senate on a 29-17 vote and passed the House on a 53-34 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 20, 2021.
HF 848—Broadband Expansion:
- Subjects the charter school governing board to chapter 22 (open records law).
- Requires a charter school administrator be a licensed administrator, licensed teacher, or have a statement of professional recognition by the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE).
- Clarifies when the charter school must notify the public school district of residence of a student’s enrollment.
- Requires the charter to school to submit an annual report to the State Board of Education.
This bill is the Governor’s broadband expansion bill. The bill provides grants to internet companies that extend broadband service at or above specific upload and
download speeds to a targeted service area, including schools. The bill breaks down speeds into three tiers:
IASB registered in support of the bill as it will help schools connect with high-speed broadband. The bill passed the Senate on a 47-0 vote after previously passing the House on a 94-0 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on April 28, 2021.
HF 868—Education Appropriations:
- Tier 1: maximum download speed of less than 25 megabits per second and maximum upload speed of less than three megabits per second.
- Tier 2: Minimum download speed of greater than or equal to 25 megabits per second but less than fifty megabits per second.
- Tier 3: Minimum download speed of greater than or equal to 50 megabits per second but less than eighty megabits per second.
This bill appropriates $972.4M for PK-12 education, community colleges, regents universities, and the Department of Education. It is an increase of $26.4M over last
year. Some of the budget items impacting PK-12 and AEAs include:
- $23 million for Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholar
- $23.2 million for Early Childhood Iowa Fund
- $3 million for Statewide Student Assessment
- $3.2 million for Children’s Mental Health School-Based Training and Support
- $1.6 million for Therapeutic Classrooms
Other funding and policy provisions include:
- Requires the Department of Education (DE) to provide reading assessments for PK-6 to find proficiency. The DE can charge districts for the cost of the assessments which can be paid out of the Early Intervention Fund.
- Requires the Department of Education to submit a report by January 15, 2022, detailing the department’s anti-bullying programming and current and future expenditures for the program for FY 2022.
- Provides that funding for the Children’s Mental Health School-Based Training and Support program be allocated to the AEAs for mental health services including mental health awareness training for educators.
- Creates a taskforce to increase teacher diversity in Iowa and to submit a report to the governor and general assembly by December 15, 2021.
- $10 million increase for the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholar Program.
- $6.4 million increase for Community Colleges.
- $2 million increase for the Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) program.
- $500,000 for classroom environment professional development.
- $500,000 to the DE to develop standards related to behavior in classrooms, restraint of students, least restrictive environments and research-based intervention strategies.
- $500,000 to the DE for reimbursement to school districts claims for therapeutic classroom transportation.
- $250,000 to the Iowa Reading Research Center to help establish an endorsement for an advanced dyslexia specialist.
- Requires district equity coordinators to undergo free speech training annually.
- A process for districts to petition the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) to get a modified supplemental amount to cover the decline of preschool enrollments during the 2020-21 school year and an increase in enrollment for
the 2021-22 school year.
- Adds mental health professionals to operational sharing positions. The position will carry a weighting of three pupils.
The bill includes a significant policy item, creating a new accreditation process. This process, created without stakeholder input, makes the following substantiative changes:
- Increased enforcement provisions, giving the DE more latitude to impose penalties on districts for noncompliance including conditions on funds, withholding of state and federal payments and reporting to the attorney general and/or
the state auditor for investigation.
- Replaces the current annual desk audit process with a required DE site visit every other year.
- Community members can initiate an accreditation committee site visit if 20% of eligible electors sign a petition.
In addition, the amendment allows a group of citizens to file a petition with the school board for a public hearing on any matter. The petition must:
- Have signatures equal to at least 10% of those who voted in the last regular school election, or 500 eligible voters, whichever is less.
- The board is required to hold a public hearing on the matter in the petition at their next regular board meeting or on the agenda of the next board meeting held within 30 days.
- If it relates to curriculum, the district may stop teaching that material until the board holds a meeting to discuss the curriculum.
Finally, the bill directs the DE to place guidance for community members and parents who have concerns with their school district or school board.
IASB is registered opposed to the bill due to the changes in the accreditation process and the concerns with how that language was developed. The bill passed the Senate on a 28-17 vote and passed the House on a 54-35 vote. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on June 8, 2021.