IASB includes in its bill summary only those bills that have passed a committee, been approved by the House or the Senate or signed by the governor. This is to focus attention on those bills the legislature has determined have a chance of becoming law. Each year, there are a large number of bills that are introduced impacting K-12 public education. It’s common that bills may have an initial hearing at the subcommittee level but progress no further. IASB’s goal is to focus you attention on bills that are actually moving toward enactment. This does not mean that we do not give our full attention to bills that implement the resolutions adopted by the delegate assembly each year. If you have specific questions about a bill that is not listed, please contact Phil Jeneary or Emily Piper for more information.
Below are summaries of bills important to IASB that we are tracking throughout the session.
HSB 519 – Teach Iowa Scholar Eligibility: This bill makes more teachers eligible to for the Teach Iowa Scholar loan repayment program. The bill:
Allows any student in the top 50% of their teacher preparation program to apply for the program (currently 25%).
Eliminates the “high needs positions” threshold to allow for any teacher, regardless of position to qualify if they are going to teach in a public, charter, accredited nonpublic school, or AEA.
Ensures equity in how grants are distributed between small (1,200 or less enrollment) and large schools (1,200 or higher enrollment)
IASB registered in support of this bill because this is one of the organizations legislative priorities. IASB helped create this proposal and is aimed at increasing the number of teachers while addressing teacher shortages in rural areas. The bill passed the House Education Committee.
HSB 520 – 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 also strikes the requirement that a candidate for teacher licensure pass the PRAXIS test. Finally, the bill as amended in committee will allow a “look back” provision for candidates for licensure who failed the PRAXIS prior to implementation of this legislation.
IASB originally registered as neutral on the bill but will change to support when the revised bill is introduced. IASB has heard support from members of eliminating the PRAXIS as it has barriers to entry into the teaching profession but want to ensure the teacher candidates receive the proper training before entering the classroom. The bill passed the House Education Committee.
HSB 521 – TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Funding: This bill prohibits a wind turbine TIF district from including the property tax revenue generated by the $5.40 levy from being included in the TIF. Currently, the state funds the lost property tax revenue from a TIF district that would have been generated by the $5.40 levy.
IASB is registered in support of the bill as it allows schools to continue to collect the $5.40 levy property tax revenue. The elimination of the state backfill may spur more collaboration between counties and school districts in the establishment of wind turbine TIF districts. The bill passed the House Education Committee.
HF 2037 – 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.
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. If enacted, it means that the 90 school districts impacted will not lose over $650,000 in funding. The bill passed the House Education Committee.
SF 2079 – Vaccinations Required for Enrollment: This bill provides that the State Board of Health is the only entity that can require additional immunizations to attend a childcare center or public school. Religious and medical exemptions would still apply during an emergency or epidemic.
IASB registered neutral on this bill. School boards do not want to be the decision-making authority requiring what vaccinations students need to attend school. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee.
SF 2080 – Administration of Physical Exams or Health Screenings: This bill prohibits schools from administering invasive physical exams or health screenings to minor children without a parent or guardian's consent. The bill does state that if an emergency health situation arises and one of these procedures could be used to help the child the school could conduct that exam. The bill was amended by the committee to add charter and innovation schools as entities that would need to get parental consent to administer one of the exams.
IASB registered neutral on the bill as support parents and schools collaborating on how best to care for students. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee.
SF 2081 – Computer Science Professional Development Fund: This bill allows a recipient of a computer science professional development grant to spend the money through September 30th of the following fiscal year.
IASB registered in support of the bill because this closes a gap in funding for those recipients. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee.