These are bills IASB registered on throughout the 2023 legislative session that did not survive the funnel deadline, meaning they did not pass one chamber (House or Senate) and a committee in the other chamber. Some bills that did not survive the second funnel may be incorporated into other legislation.
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.
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.
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.
SF 569 – Property Tax Omnibus: The Senate released their property tax bill this week. While much different than the House’s plan for property taxes, there are still implications for school districts.
Division III eliminates the Public Education and Recreation Levy (PERL), requiring districts with the voter-approved levy to use the funds by the end of fiscal year 2027. It then makes projects previously eligible under PERL eligible for the use of SAVE funds.
Division XIII has the biggest impact for districts. It establishes budget statements that will be sent to taxpayers by the county auditor. The bill was amended on the Senate floor to require, by March 15 of each year, that school districts provide a report to the Department of Management with all the following information for the current fiscal year:
Actual property taxes certified for all the school district’s levies
Combined property tax rate/$1000
Combined effective property tax rate
For the upcoming budget year:
Proposed combined amount of property tax dollars to be certified for all the school district’s levies
Proposed combined property tax rate/$1000 for all levies
If the proposed amount of property taxes is more than the previous fiscal year, a detailed statement of the reasons for the increase.
The school district’s website information because all this information must be posted on the district website in addition to budget information from prior fiscal years.
Once the Department of Management has calculated and compiled all this information, they will give it to the county auditor. The county auditor will then send the information to taxpayers by March 20. Also included in this information will be an example calculated by the Department of Management of the amount of property tax on a residential and a commercial property valued at $100,000 that compares the current fiscal year to the proposed property tax rate, including the percentage difference in such amounts. The auditor must also provide the percentage of total property taxes that are levied by each taxing authority (school district, city and county).
School districts will be required to hold a public hearing specifically for their proposed property tax amount. It must be separate from the required public hearing on a district’s certified budget. Notice requirements apply to this hearing: publish notice between 10 and 20 days before the hearing in a newspaper and on the district website. Additionally, if a district has social media accounts, they will have to publish the meeting notice or a link to it on each account.
School district budgets must be certified by April 30, and budget appeals from citizens will be allowed until May 10.
IASB is registered against the bill because it eliminates a voter-approved levy (PERL), and the timeline for the new required budget statement is unworkable in conjunction with other factors that determine a district’s budget (SSA being set, Aid and Levy Worksheet being available, etc.). The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 48-1. Note: The Property Tax Reform bill HF 718 did pass.
SF 572 – Administration of Education Savings Accounts and Tax Credits: The bill does some clarifying and clean-up as a result of the education savings account bill (HF 68) passed earlier in the session. It says that money paid from an education savings account is not eligible for the tuition and textbook tax credit. School tuition organization (STO) grants will only be awarded after an education savings account is applied to the cost of tuition and will not exceed the amount of tuition to be paid by parents. The bill begins to decrease the amount of available STO tax credits, with $14 million being available by 2025, down from the current $20 million.
If there is money left in a student’s education savings account at the end of a fiscal year and the student doesn’t intend to use the account in the next fiscal year, the money is returned to the state general fund. If a student leaves or is expelled from a nonpublic school where they were using an education savings account, the money will be returned to the state general fund.
The bill clarifies that any remaining balance in a district’s talent and gifted program budget may be spent on the teacher salary supplement.
IASB is registered in support of the bill, as it offers needed clarifications on the new education savings account program. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
HF 706 – 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. An amendment in committee clarifies that a competitive scoring process will be used to provide the grants. No funding has been provided for the grant fund at this time.
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 and passed the Senate Technology Committee.
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 is in the Senate Ways & Means 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. The bill has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
SF 546 – Website for Publishing Public Notice Requirements: A strike after amendment was adopted on the Senate floor with several provisions related to required public notices:
Bond sale notices must be published in national publication known for providing information on public bond sales not less than 4 or more than 20 days before the sale. It can also be published in a newspaper within the county or next to the county where the sale is taking place.
AEA’s must publish notice of their proposed budget hearing on their website or in one newspaper of general circulation.
When filling a school board vacancy, boards must publish the notice on the district’s website or in a newspaper of general circulation.
All notices required to be published in a newspaper must also be posted on the newspaper’s website with 48 hours of receiving the notice, even if that doesn’t follow the newspaper’s printed publishing schedule. Notices cannot be behind a paywall or require a subscription.
Public notice requirements are satisfied once the notice is on the newspaper’s website, not when it is actually printed in the newspaper.
If there is no official newspaper in the school district’s area, the public notice can be posted on the district’s website and on a bulletin board at the district office.
IASB is registered in support of the bill as it takes some steps toward improving the public notice process and requirements for school districts. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 37-12.
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.
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.
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.
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 school districts that have them. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee, but didn't move any further in the process once a new property tax bill was introduced.
SF 483 / 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. This bill passed the Senate education committee and has been placed on the unfinished business calendar.
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:
To obtain a license from an alternative program, the requirements are:
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.
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.
SF 392 – Teacher Intern Program, Teach Iowa Scholar, Recruitment Incentives: This bill has three important sections:
Teacher Intern Program Requirements:
Teach Iowa Scholar Program Changes:
Teacher Recruitment and Retention Incentives:
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 is in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
SF 570 – Adding School Board Presidents to Local Emergency Management Commissions: This bill was amended by the Senate Ways & Means Committee to include school board presidents on emergency management commissions in each county. Currently, these commissions are comprised of a member of the county board of supervisors, the sheriff, and the mayor of each city in the county. The bill would add school board presidents in each county and make them one voting unit. The sheriff would become a nonvoting member.
IASB is registered against the bill in its amended form because we don’t see these commissions as part of a school board president’s duties and because school board presidents weren’t elected to raise levies for this purpose. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
HF 712 – Social Media Users Under the Age of Eighteen: This bill would prohibit individuals under the age of 18 from maintaining a social media account. Social media companies in violation of this bill would be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation. Additionally, the attorney general may bring civil action on behalf of an individual under 18 years of age who resides in the state and has accessed a social media website.
IASB is currently registered as undecided, but a committee amendment to clarify that the bill doesn’t apply to platforms that are not available to the general public alleviated our main concern. The bill passed the House 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 and has been placed on the unfinished business calendar.
HF 654 / SF 543 – Weapons on School Grounds: The bill allows guns to be in school transportation vehicles if the school has authorized it. Guns would be allowed in a vehicle in the school parking lot and must remain locked if unattended. Someone picking up or dropping off at the school may have a gun in their vehicle.
The bill was amended on the House floor to include firearm safety instruction in schools. The model programs will be based off the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program for students K-6 and the Hunter Education Course for students 7-12. Both programs are developed by the National Rifle Association. This will not be a required course for students, but districts must make it available to all students in grades 7-12. The instructor does not have to be licensed by the BOEE. It would operate similar to driver’s education:
Can be offered at a site other than the school
Can be offered during the summer, after school, or on Saturdays
Additionally, school district insurers would be required to provide property and casualty insurance for guns on school grounds by someone other than an SRO.
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. Also, insurance premiums will likely increase because insurance companies must cover the liability of guns on school grounds. The bill passed the House by a vote of 62-37.
SF 484 – School Finance Formula Review Committee: This bill requires the school finance formula review committee to meet during the 2023 interim.
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, passed the House Education Committee and most recently was placed on the unfinished business calendar.
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 and has been placed on the unfinished business calendar.
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 and it has been placed on the unfinished business calendar.
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 changes. The 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.
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.
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.
IASB is registered undecided on the bill but welcomes charter school student participation in extracurricular activities.
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.
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.
IASB is registered undecided on this bill.
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.
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 should 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.
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.
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 to provide an opportunity for a student liaison to be added 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.
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. However, we want schools to be able to mitigate any negative effects to the best of their ability.
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.
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.