SF 455 – District cost per pupil and transportation equity
SF 475 – Education omnibus bill
SF 2113 – Suicide awareness training for school employees
SF 2114 – Department of Education Code corrections
SF 2131 – Expanding Iowa learning online to homeschool students
SF 2274 – Department of Education must put law, rule, code on data report requests
SF 2318 – Successful high school credit mandatory awarding
SF 2360 – Dyslexia Taskforce
SF 2364 – Requiring all schools to develop a security plan
HF 633 – Sharing incentives/Shared operational weighting extension (via Approps)
HF 648 – Career and Technical Education clean up (via Approps)
HF 2230 – FY19 State Supplemental Aid (SSA)
HF 2235 – Codifies the Next Generation Iowa Tests as the Iowa assessment
HF 2283 – Board of Education Examiners (BOEE) license expiration
HF 2354 – Student data privacy
HF 2390 – World language and sign language
HF 2441 – Flexibility Fund: at-risk funds and expanding lease property
HF 2442 – School athletic concussion/brain injury protocols
HF 2458 – Future Ready Iowa (via Commerce)
HF 2467 – Food shaming
SF 455 addresses two inequities in the school finance formula: the district cost per pupil and transportation funding. This $14.2 million effort buys down the highest inequity districts in per-pupil and transportation funding for one year.
For FY19, $5 will be added to state cost per pupil. All districts receive either property tax replacement or an increase in spending authority. School districts with the highest transportation costs get transportation assistance. If a school district exceeds the statewide adjusted transportation cost per pupil, a portion of $11.2 million in one-time money will be distributed. Transportation funding will go to 140 districts (42 percent of all Iowa school districts).
[2/26: 45-4 (No: Bisignano, D. Johnson, McCoy, Petersen; Absent: Chelgren)]
SF 475, as approved by the Legislature and sent to the Governor, includes these elements:
Division 1: Online Education
- Eliminates an online pilot project for two school districts, allowing any school district to hire a private provider for an online program or develop their own.
- Eliminates the cap on students that can open enroll (18 one-hundredths of 1 percent of statewide enrollment). For 2018, that cap is 873 students. There is a 1 percent cap of the population of individual school districts allowed to open enroll through online learning.
- Eliminates the one-year waiver for schools to participate in online learning.
Any Iowa school district can now develop an online program or hire a private provider to market their program and recruit students to open enroll in their online program. An online provider cannot offer a rebate for tuition or fees paid to enroll a child in an online learning class.
The “offer and teach” requirements for a school district or accredited nonpublic school will not apply for two specified subjects in the case of any of the following:
- The school district or school makes every reasonable good faith effort to employ a licensed teacher, but is unable to.
- Fewer than 10 students typically register for instruction in the specified subject at the school district or school.
The Department of Education can waive offer and teach requirements for one school year to additional subjects for a school district that makes the effort to meet the requirements, but is unable to.
Division 2: Career Technical Education (CTE) Concurrent Enrollment
In the past, concurrent enrollment classes were courses that supplemented, not supplanted, high school courses that must be offered. This legislation also allows concurrent enrollment for CTE courses, and allows community college instructors to teach one or more classes in one of the six CTE service areas.
Division 3: Student Health Working Group
A workgroup will study dental and vision screenings, blood lead testing and immunizations. Existing health screening requirements remain in place while the work groups develop their recommendations, which are due to the Legislature by December 31, 2018.
Division 4: Open Enrollment Extracurricular Fee
If an online student participates in curricular or extracurricular activities, the school district of residence may deduct up to $200 per activity for up to two activities from the amount provided to the sending district. This includes interscholastic athletics, music and any other activity with a general fund expenditure exceeding $5,000 annually.
Division 5: Biliteracy Seal
The director of the Department of Education must develop and administer a biliteracy seal program to recognize students graduating from high school with demonstrated proficiency in two world languages, one of which must be English. Participation by the school, school district or non-public school is voluntary.
Division 6: Limitation on Department of Education “Guidance”
Forbids the Department of Education from issuing guidance or rules inconsistent with statutes, or imposing binding obligations. Per the bill, guidance issued by the department is not legally binding.
Division 7: Financial Literacy
A new one-half unit of personal financial literacy is required to graduate. The curriculum must address:
- Savings, including an emergency fund
- Understanding investments
- Wealth building and college planning
- Credit cards and pay-day lending
- The power of marketing on buying decisions, including zero-percent interest offers
- Financial responsibility and money management
- Insurance, risk management, income and career decisions
- Different types of insurance coverage
- Advantages and disadvantages of buying, selling and renting real estate
[4/2: 28-19 (Yes: Republicans, Bowman, Quirmbach; Excused: Dawson, Zumbach; 49 senators seated)]
SF 2113 requires training for educators on suicide awareness and prevention. Local school boards will integrate one hour annually of evidenced-based training on suicide prevention and “postvention” as part of a licensed educator’s professional development. An additional hour yearly of evidence-based training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and strategies to mitigate their impact is required for licensed school personnel who have regular contact with students.
[3/21: 49-0 (49 senators seated)]
SF 2131 expands the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) to allow a student receiving home schooling to participate and complete coursework under if the parent/guardian pays current market rate for the instruction. The fee will be established by the Department of Education and is the same for public schools, private schools and home schools. Previously, only school districts and accredited nonpublic schools could partner with ILO for distance education to high school students. ILO is not a school, but an initiative that partners with schools at their invitation to provide supplemental online course instruction. Upon successful completion of a course, ILO provides the school with the student’s percentage score. Grades and credit are awarded by the school.
An AEA workgroup will study ways students may access educational instruction and content online and submit a report to the Legislature by October 15, 2018. The workgroup will also identify partnerships between existing providers of rigorous and high-quality online coursework.
[3/5: Final Passage 50-0]
SF 2114 is the Iowa Department of Education’s technical clean-up bill. It makes non-controversial changes to Iowa Code. Highlights include:
- Eliminating work-based learning technical fixes in HF 648, which passed the House 98-0 in 2017.
- Changing Iowa Code locations on the Department of Education’s approval process for practitioner preparation programs. Previously, approval was in Code chapters 256 (Department of Education) and 272 (Educational Examiners Board). The language in Code chapter 272 is now in Code section 256.16 (specific criteria for teacher prep and certain educators) and removes redundancies.
- Striking unnecessary district-level reporting for the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which has been replaced with the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA).
- Repealing before and after school grant programs, which were established to provide competitive funding to expand before and after school programs and summer schools. The program has not received state funding since 2008.
[2/20: 48-0 (Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]
SF 2274 requires the Department of Education to cite the state or federal statute, rule or regulation that makes it necessary to include information in reports of a school district, area education agency and accredited nonpublic school, or their officers or employees. The Board of Regents and the Department spoke against this bill because they have collaborated in data gathering on student career paths, retention and workforce. None of these are required by Iowa Code or Rule, but are useful to many entities, including the Legislature and Governor.
[2/20: 37-11 (No: Bisignano, Boulton, Bolkcom, Danielson, Dotzler, Hogg, Jochum, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor; Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]
SF 2318 requires a school district or accredited nonpublic school to award high school credit to any student who satisfactorily completes a high school-level unit of instruction. School districts only have to award credit if the credit hours were taken within their district and taught by a certified teacher. A school district may determine if a course meets their educational standards before awarding credit and may deny graduation credit for any course taken outside their district.
[4/2: 47-0 (Excused: Dawson, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]
SF 2360 creates a dyslexia task force, which will be staffed by the Department of Education. The task force will include a representative of higher education and must report its findings and recommendations by November 15, 2019.
[4/3: 48-0 (Excused: Dawson; 49 senators seated)]
SF 2364 requires school districts and state accredited non-public schools to establish security plans for individual school buildings. Plans must include responses to active shooter scenarios and natural disasters and are not subject to open record requests. The bill requires plans to be reviewed and updated yearly; requires school officials and teachers to conduct a drill of the plan at least once per school year; requires an alert to be sent to the employers of those regularly in the building but not school officials if an emergency occurs (these people will not know the plan, but in the case of contractors, construction workers, Area Education Agency officials or others, they will be altered not to report to the building); requires schools to consult with local emergency management coordinators; and requires schools to publish threat-reporting procedures for school officials, parents and guardians.
Those participating in drills include administrators, teachers, secretaries, receptionists, school support staff and custodians. The drill may also include students. The drill may include a table top demonstration, partial drill or full drill. Prior to the drill, the authorities must provide a written plan, listing equipment and personnel to be used. A drill cannot be conducted unless the plan is approved by the participating school board or authorities from a non-public school.
[3/26: 47-0 (Bertrand, Zumbach excused; 49 seated senators)]
HF 2230 sets the basic school funding for the 2018-2019 school year at 1 percent for regular state aid to schools and categorical state aid. This bill establishes a cost per pupil of $6,731, an increase of $67 per pupil. The 1 percent allowable growth rate will cost the state $3.222 billion, an increase of $32 million over last year.
Categorical State Aid: The FY19 allowable growth rate for the State Categorical Supplements (Teacher Leadership and Compensation, Teacher Salary Supplement, Professional Development and Early Intervention) is $527.2 million, an increase of $6.7 million. Funding amounts for each initiative include:
- Teacher Salary Supplement at $298.9 million, an increase of $3.7 million.
- Professional Development Supplement at $33.9 million, an increase of $0.4 million.
- Early Intervention Supplement (class-size) at $34.9 million, an increase of $0.4 million.
- Teacher Leadership and Compensation at $159.5 million, an increase of $2.1 million.
Property Taxes: For the last few years, the Legislature has decided whether to pay for the incremental increase in property taxes associated with an increase in the percentage growth for schools. The total funding for this effort is now $51.5 million, an increase of $4.7 million over last year.
[2/26: 28-21, party-line (No: D. Johnson, Democrats)]
HF 2235 requires that the statewide assessment of student progress be the assessment developed by the Iowa testing program within the University of Iowa’s College of Education and administered by the Iowa testing program’s designee.
[3/13: 39-10 (No: Boulton, Danielson, Dotzler, Hart, Horn, D. Johnson, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor; only 49 senators seated)]
HF 2283 changes the expiration of an initial teacher license from the educator’s birthday month to the end of the academic year so that they don’t have to pay for an extension to cover the time lapse.
[3/13: 49-0 (only 49 senators seated)]
HF 2354 places restrictions on third parties that receive student data from school districts. The bill outlines specific advertising targeting that these operators can and cannot do in an effort to protect student privacy while maintaining ongoing relationships between school districts and third-party technology providers.
[3/21: 49-0 (49 senators seated)]
HF 2390 allows school districts to use American Sign Language as an option to meet “offer and teach” requirements for foreign/world language, and changes the term “foreign language” to “world language.”
[3/26: 47-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]
HF 2441 is the 2018 school district flexibility fund bill. It also restricts the Department of Education from issuing guidance that imposes a legal obligation or duty unless it is required or reasonably implied by law, rule or other legal authority. The provision does not apply to administrative rules, declaratory orders, a document or statement required by federal law or a court, or a document or statement issued in the course of an administrative or judicial proceeding. The bill mainly provides additional flexibility to various programs and funds at the school district level.
Modifications in the bill include:
- Class Size Reduction/Early Intervention – The categorical funding and program had required school districts to spend funds for class-size reduction for grades K-3 or increased reading programming. This program was set to expire this year, but the bill authorizes districts to continue to use the funding for any general purpose.
- At-Risk/Dropout Prevention Funds – Instead of submitting a plan to the School Budget Review Committee, requests for a modified supplemental amount for at-risk students can be approved by resolution of a school board. The school district must provide a comprehensive plan, but the plan doesn’t have to be a part of the comprehensive school improvement plan. The cap limit of 5 percent of a school district’s budgeted enrollment that can be spent on such programs was removed. Funding may be used for additional staff, salary and benefits for those working with at-risk or dropout prevention. Dates for School Budget Review Committee meetings are aligned to deadlines for plan submission.
- Leased Portions of a School Building – Allows school property to be leased and strikes a five-year lease duration limitation.
- Sports Equipment – The 2017 flexibility bill allowed, by resolution, a school district to transfer from their general fund to their student activity fund an amount necessary to purchase protective and safety equipment. This bill adds the reconditioning of such protective and safety equipment.
[3/28: 46-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Lykam, Zumbach; 49 senators seated)]
HF 2442 requires the Department of Public Health, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union to develop training materials and courses on concussions, brain injuries and return-to-play protocols. A coach or contest official must complete the training at least every two years. A student removed from sports participation cannot recommence until they are evaluated by a license health care provider. School are not legal liable for the actions or non-actions of a licensed health care provider at an extracurricular interscholastic activity so long as the provider acts reasonably, in good faith and in the best interest of student athletes.
[4/12: 46-0 (Excused: Bisignano, Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]
HF 2458, which went through the Senate Commerce Committee, is an initiative known as “Future Ready Iowa,” which aims to build the state’s “talent pipeline.” It was created after Iowa received a National Governor’s Association grant, and a “Future Ready Iowa Alliance” developed and recommended a plan to ensure 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce has education or training beyond high school by 2025. Currently, 55 percent of jobs available in Iowa are “middle-skill” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree: an associate’s degree, a training certificate or an apprenticeship. Only 32 percent of Iowa workers meet this skill level.
The legislation creates a new program under the Economic Development Authority to encourage more small- and medium-sized apprenticeship programs. It also creates a volunteer mentor program; a summer youth intern pilot program for at-risk youth; an Iowa Employer Innovation Program focused on training for high-demand jobs; and a Skilled Workforce Grant Program for state universities or accredited private colleges. The Department of Workforce Development and community colleges will identify and create a list of high-demand jobs for these programs.
[3/19: 47-0 (Absent: Sinclair, Zumbach; Vacant: Dix)]
HF 2467 prohibits lunch shaming and allows schools to pay the costs of student lunch/meal debt with a flexibility fund. Schools must notify parents at least twice a year if the student has five or more unpaid lunches. Schools are encouraged to offer reimbursable lunches unless the parent authorizes withholding lunches from a student. A reimbursable meal cannot be an alternative (e.g., a cold cheese sandwich) because that would identify the student as having school meal debt. Schools cannot publicly identify or stigmatize a student for being delinquent in their meal account. This would include sitting at a separate table, doing chores for food, or wearing a wrist band, hand stamp or other identifying mark. Schools are prohibited from posting lists of students who cannot pay for lunch and denying students participation in various school activities. School districts may set up a private fund within their nutrition fund to accept donations to offset school lunch debt, or use their flexibility fund. Schools may work with the Department of Revenue to collect unpaid school meal debt though offsets in tax returns, lottery winnings, etc.
[4/3: 48-0 (Excused: Dawson; 49 senators seated)]
Education policies enacted in other committees or bills:
HF 633 – Sharing Incentives – extends the policy to provide incentives for school districts and AEAs to share certain administrative positions. In addition, the bill adds social workers to the eligible functions for sharing incentives. A school district that shares one or more operational functions of a curriculum director, school counselor, superintendent management, business management, human resources, transportation, or operation and maintenance for at least 20 percent of the school year gets a supplementary weighting for each shared function.
Supplementary weighting generated an estimated total of $16 million per year. This bill extends the program until 2024 and lifts the five year max years sharing. The maximum level of weighting any district could generate totals 21 and the statewide funding level could total $46.5 million if all districts are at the maximum weighting level. HF 633 is estimated to cost an additional $13 million per year by 2024.
Sharing Incentive Weightings include:
- Superintendent management functions at a weighting factor of 8.
- Business management, human resources, transportation, and operation and maintenance functions at a weighting factor of 5 per function.
- Curriculum director and guidance counselor functions at a weighting factor of 3 per function.
- Social workers functions at a weighting factor of 3.
[5/5: 47-0 (Absent: Chelgren Hart, Sweeney)]
HF 648 makes changes to Career and Technical Education. A 2016 bill added a work-based learning program to workers’ compensation so that students are protected in case of injury. Because workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for an injured worker, businesses are exempt from lawsuits. For purposes of work-based learning, accredited nonpublic schools, community colleges, and directors, officers and authorities in charge of a school are also exempt. This bill changes “school district” references to “corporation” to reflect group of schools involved work-based learning programs.
In addition, the way funds are distributed to Regional Planning Partnerships is changed from reimbursement to disbursement; federal Perkins dollars are permitted to flow through to FFA programs; and some consumable supplies may be purchased with partnership funds, such as feed for livestock.
[4/12: 47-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]
SF 2415 – FY19 Education Budget
- Increases the salary range for the executive director of the College Student Aid Commission.
- Puts an $80,000 limit on the appropriation for barber and cosmetology students who get the For-Profit Iowa Tuition Grant.
- Eliminates the Rural Iowa Registered Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Loan Repayment Program and establishes (a smaller) Health Care Loan Repayment Program to provide repayment of qualified loans of registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse educators who practice full-time in a service commitment area or teach in Iowa. The maximum payment is $6,000.
- Modifies SF 475 (Financial Literacy) by outlining nine curriculum requirements, but allowing for the curriculum to be incorporated into other courses and counted toward meeting graduation requirements. It also allows the required 1/2 unit of financial literacy to be taken in place of a 1/2 unit of social studies.
- Clarifies (SF 475 – Online Learning) that all teachers must be Iowa certified and that the Department of Education must evaluate and approve private online providers operating in state.
[5/2: 26-21 (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Excused: Bertrand, Chelgren, Sinclair)]
HF 2502 – Standings Bill
- Instructional Support Program: Suspends the standing appropriation of $14.8 million to the Department of Education for the Instructional Support Program. School districts may use local propriety taxes and income surtaxes for their portion of the Program. State funding has not been provided since FY11.
- State School Aid and AEA: Reduces FY19 State School Aid funding to Area Education Agencies (AEAs) by an additional $15 million, for a total reduction of $22.5 million.
- Division XVIII – Priority/preference for scholarships to children of those killed in line of duty: Scholarship benefits under the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Fund for children of peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Foster children would still be given first priority.
- Division XX – Rock Island Arsenal: Allows students who live on the Rock Island Arsenal, to attend public schools in Scott County. The student would be counted as a resident for purpose of school aid funding.
- Division XXII – Iowa Energy Center: Scoops the remittance that goes to the Iowa Energy Center and moves it to the General Fund. The General Fund will receive $1.28 million in FY20, $2.91 million in FY21, and $3.53 million in FY22. The Iowa Energy Center would then get $2.85 million in FY20, $1.22 million in FY21, and $632,301 in FY22.
[5/5: 30-17 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano, Bowman, Kinney, Taylor; No: Democrats, Greene, D. Johnson; Excused: Bertrand, Chelgren, Hart)]