Education Committee Report – Week 5, 2017

SF 166 – FY18 school funding
SF 83 – Sexual exploitation gap fix for school employees
SSB 1001 – Removes new statewide assessment requirement
SSB 1017 – BOEE discipline expansion



SF 166 sets the FY18 regular school aid/state supplemental aid/allowable growth and the FY18 categorical allowable growth for schools at 1.11 percent. This bill establishes a total cost per pupil of $6,664, an increase of $73 per pupil. The 1.11 percent allowable growth rate in FY18 will cost the state $3.199 billion, an increase of $108.9 million over FY17.

The FY18 allowable growth rate for each of the State Categorical Supplements (Teacher Leadership & Compensation, Teacher Salary Supplement, Professional Development & Early Intervention) totals $520.53 million, an increase of $59.68 million compared to the FY17 amount. Funding amounts for each initiative include:

  • Teacher Salary Supplement at $295.14 million, an increase of $4.78 million.
  • Professional Development Supplement at $33.5 million, an increase of $0.54 million.
  • Early Intervention Supplement (class size) at $34.5 million, an increase of $ .56 million.
  • Teacher Leadership & Compensation at $157.4 million, an increase of $53.99 million. This is the last year of a three-year phase-in to the school finance formula.

The Legislature decides if it will pay for the increment increase in property taxes associated with an increase in the percentage growth for schools. The total funding for this effort is $46.7 million, an increase of $5.3 million over last year ($83 dollars per student for FY18).

Two major policy changes are included in this bill. First, the bill changes the timeframe under which the Legislature will set basic school funding. Current Iowa law requires the Legislature to act within 30 days of the Governor’s proposal in the year proceeding the base year of the Governor’s budget. The bill changes this requirement to February 1 of the regular legislative session budget year. This means local schools will no longer get 18-months’ notice to prepare their budgets. They will get only three months to determine their local annual budgets.

Second, current code requires that the state percentage growth be the only subject matter in the school funding bill. SF 166 changes this long-held single-subject priority, which decreases the importance of the single subject and threatens a situation in which one priority can be traded for another priority in legislative deal-making.
[2/2: 29-21 (party-line, with D. Johnson voting “no” with Democrats)]



SF 83 expands the criminal offense of sexual exploitation by a school employee to include a person employed by a school district full-time, part-time or as a substitute; and a person who performs services as a volunteer or contract employee for a school district and who has significant contact with students. A committee amendment modifies the volunteer or contract services portion of the bill to say “direct supervisory authority” over the student. The amendment also strikes from their bill a protection against “Romeo and Juliet” type relationships. Prior to the amendment, the bill had indicated a “school employee” does NOT include a person who holds a coaching authorization if the person is less than four years older than the student and the person is not in a position of direct authority over the student; or a volunteer for the school district if the volunteer is less than four years older than the student and is not in a position of direct authority over the student. A person who commits sexual exploitation by a school employee commits either an aggravated misdemeanor or a class “D” felony, which is punishable by confinement for no more than five years and a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500.
[2/8: short form]


SSB 1001 strikes the State Board of Education’s decision to move forward with Smarter Balance, a statewide assessment that is aligned to the Iowa Core, accurately describes Iowa student growth and provides a fair measure of student readiness for college or career. Current law requires that the State Board of Education to set core academic indicators in mathematics and reading for grades four, eight and 11, and for science in grades eight and 11. This bill strikes the requirement that all students enrolled in grades three through 11 take an assessment of their progress on the core academic indicators.

A committee amendment was adopted to require the Department of Education to issue a new request for proposals for the selection of a statewide assessment of student progress to be administered in the school year beginning July 1, 2018. The assessment must measure individual student growth and be aligned to the Iowa Core for grades three through eight, and at least one high school grade. The assessment must be capable of measuring student performance in English language arts, mathematics and science. The assessment must be available in both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats. Potential vendors or providers may collaborate to meet the requirements. The Department of Education must issue the request for proposals by April 30, 2017. In addition, the amendment gives the State Board of Education the ability to accept the best proposal and write rules to implement the proposal without further legislative approval.

Finally, the committee amendment makes a significant change to accredited private schools and assessments. Currently, all accredited private schools must develop and file with the Department of Education a comprehensive school improvement plan that includes assessing educational needs and establishing local education standards and student achievement levels. Accredited private schools are currently required to give the same annual statewide assessment as public schools. The committee amendment changes this requirement so that all accredited private schools are exempt from the testing requirement.
[2/8: 12-3 (Danielson, Hart, Mathis “no”)]


SSB 1017 adds to the list of disciplinary actions taken against a licensed school employee that must be reported to the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). Currently, school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must report to the BOEE any instance of disciplinary action specified in the Code 272.15. The bill adds: being on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity while under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal drugs, unauthorized drugs, or alcohol. A committee amendment strikes “unauthorized drugs” and further defines illegal drugs.
[2/8: short form]