EDUCATION-Week of Feb. 20, 2012
SSB 3166 – Internship opportunities website
SSB 3167 – Postsecondary education program oversight
SSB 3171 – Senate education reform
SF 2024 – Worker training program expansion
SF 2087 – Creating outstanding instructional leaders’ pilot
SF 2024 establishes new Community College skilled workforce training and grant programs, which receive $20 million annually for three years. The bill:
** Requires the Department of Workforce Development to identify industry areas experiencing worker shortages on a quarterly basis.
** Requires Community Colleges to develop and implement the national career readiness certificate and the skills certification system endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.
** Appropriates $2 million for the Community Colleges GAP Tuition Assistance Fund. The GAP program, passed last year (but not funded) provides tuition assistance to need-based eligible applicants enrolled in certificate programs that offer a credential, a recognized certificate, preparation for a professional exam/licensure, provide endorsement to existing credential/license, or represent recognized skill standards defined by industry. Funds are dedicated to the GAP program so that Iowa can show state support in an effort to draw down federal and non-profit competitive grants.
** Appropriates $6 million for a new skilled workforce shortage tuition grant program. This program is administered by the College Student Aid Commission.
** Appropriates $12 million to Community Colleges for 260C.18A (current umbrella for workforce training programs).
** The appropriations are made annually for three years (FY13, FY14, and FY15, July 1, 2012-June 30, 2015). Unused funds do not revert. A floor amendment makes a number of technical and other changes. [2/22: 26-22 (party-line; Greiner, Houser “excused”]
SSB 3166 directs the College Student Aid Commission to establish an Internet site for the purpose of distributing information regarding internship opportunities available in Iowa. The site shall be known as the Iowa Internship Connection and shall include the means for private businesses, state and local government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to post information about internship opportunities and to seek applicants for internship opportunities. [2/22: 8-5 (party-line)]
SSB 3167 is an important student consumer protections bill that ensures all students are afforded the benefit of existing law that provides for a minimum refund of tuition charges when a student withdraws from a for-profit institution. The bill requires for-profit schools that register in Iowa to implement the state tuition refund policy and show evidence of financial responsibility. The bill also expands the definition of a postsecondary school that maintains a presence in Iowa and expands the information a postsecondary school seeking to register must provide to the commission. The bill changes the postsecondary school registration timeframe from every four years to every two years. SSB 3167 allows the Attorney General to adopt rules to carry out the commission’s oversight functions regarding these institutions. A committee amendment clarifies functions relating to advertising, financial responsibility, tuition refund, and disclosure requirements and restrictions governing certain educational programs. [2/22: 12-1 (Johnson “no”)]
SSB 3171 is the Senate version of education reform. Key concepts of this bill include:
** Competency-based Instruction.
** Expanding of the Core Curriculum: The bill adds the subjects of music and other fine arts, applied arts, foreign languages, physical education, character education and entrepreneurship education to the skills and knowledge the core curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12 must address.
** Regional Parent Advocacy Networks.
** Focusing on teacher and administrator evaluation systems.
** Teacher Quality Committees to be the lead on Professional Development/Student Achievement.
** Increasing time for collaboration for educators.
** Annual Reviews modified to include administrator evaluation of teachers every three years (current Code), but annual reviews in the two years following a review by a certified evaluator will be conducted by a peer group of teachers.
** Evaluation Requirements for Administrators.
** Statewide Educator Evaluation System Taskforce.
** Administrator Preparation and Licensure Review Taskforce.
** Iowa Teaching Standards Review Taskforce and Report to Legislature.
** Prohibit tobacco on school grounds.
** Online Learning
>> Expand Iowa Learning Online.
>> Students may not take more than 50 percent of all course work online.
>> Courses developed by private providers may be utilized by the school district in implementing an online learning curriculum. Courses obtained from private providers will be taught by licensed Iowa teachers appropriately certified in subject area, employed by the local school district, with a licensed Iowa teacher as a proctor (mirroring ICN language).
** Student Teaching: Increase student teaching time from 12 weeks to 14 weeks (same as Governor’s recommendation) but require experience to be spread out over preparatory program, not just final semester.
** Board of Regents Continuous Improvement Plan: The Board of Regents will develop a program for implementing continuous improvement methodologies in every undergraduate course.
** Board of Regents will conduct a study relating to the GPA of educator preparatory students, follow them through graduation and employment to determine if GPA impacts teaching quality.
** STEM: this section directs the increased appropriations within the Education appropriations bill to align with STEM Advisory Council’s strategic plans.
** Early Childhood Literacy (similar to Governor’s bill, without retention)
>> Establishes a research center for current research on literacy.
>> Intensive reading instruction to students in need of reading assistance, based on statewide or local assessment. Supplemental instruction shall be provided to students, including but not limited to afterschool programming, parent-guided reading, tutoring and summer school. Decisions about whether to promote a student to 4th grade shall place significant weight on any reading deficiency as well as the student’s progress in other subject areas and overall intellectual, emotional and social development. No mandatory retention based on assessment.
** Instructional Time Pilot Project: Pilot for school districts (or parts of school districts) equal to seven percent of statewide enrollment.
** Parent Liaison Counselors Pilot Program: Parent liaison pilot program is established for lowest achieving school and targeted student populations, including at-risk, special education, mental health issues or other at-risk populations identified by Department of Education.
A committee amendment clarified many concepts from subcommittee. [2/22: 8-5 (party-line)]
SF 2087 establishes the Creating Outstanding Instructional Leaders (COIL) pilot program to promote excellence in the teaching profession. The bill appropriates $2.5 million annually for the 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015to establish the program. The bill requires a school district to establish yearly peer coaching stipends for teachers in the amount of $8,000. Stipends are to be awarded to teachers who volunteer for the program. The bill provides that the 30 school districts in the state with the highest student population shall receive sufficient funds to provide for three peer coaching stipends in accordance with the bill. The bill provides that the 70 school districts in the state with the 31st through 100th highest student population shall receive sufficient funds to provide for two peer coaching stipends in accordance with the bill. The remaining funds shall be allocated to the Area Education Agencies in proportion to the number of students in school districts that did not otherwise receive funds pursuant to the bill. The bill provides that a teacher receiving a peer coaching stipend shall, in lieu of non-instructional time activities during the school day, engage in peer coaching. School districts assign peer coaches to teachers in need of additional guidance in one or more aspects of the teaching profession. Assignments are to be based on either a request from a principal or from an individual teacher upon approval of a principal. A committee amendment clarified portions of the bill and provided other technical changes. [2/22: 8-5 (party-line)]Posted Feb. 23rd, 2012 at 1:29 pm by Senate Intern