Education Committee Report – Week 11, 2017

SF 475 – Omnibus education bill



SF 475 is an omnibus education bill that covers many areas of education law.

  • Division I – Online Education: Strikes limitations on online schools, including:
    • Which schools may have online learning
    • Enrollment caps
    • Specific requirements for posting student performance
    • Surveying students
    • Language regarding the Iowa Learning Online Initiative
    • Allowing the Department of Education to waive “offer and teach” requirements, and replace them with online coursework if the school cannot employ a licensed teacher, or if fewer than 10 students typically register for the class.
    • Specifically authorizing schools to offer online education.
  • Division II – CTE and Concurrent Enrollment: Allows courses offered through concurrent enrollment to supplant up to two courses of the required four CTE courses to receive CTE funding.
  • Division III – Health Screenings: An amendment reverts back to Current Code and convenes a work group to study this issue.
  • Division IV – AEA Task Force: Creates a task force to review the essential functions of AEAs and requires the task force to rank AEA functions in priority order.
  • Division V – Open Enrollment Extracurricular Fees:
    • Allows students open enrolled for online education to participate in extracurricular activities in their district of residence.
    • Allows the district of residence to deduct an extracurricular fee equal to the lesser of the actual cost of participation or 15 percent of the state cost per pupil for online students who are open enrolled to another district for online education.
  • Division VI – Biliteracy: Requires the Department of Education to develop a “seal of biliteracy” program to recognize students who demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. The program is voluntary on behalf of schools and students. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the program will receive a sticker to affix to their high school diploma, signifying their successful completion.
  • Division VII – Limitation on Department of Education Guidance:
    • Specifically states that guidance issued by the Department of Education is not legally binding.
    • Specifically states that binding regulations are rules, declaratory orders, documents required by federal law or court, or documents issued in the course of administrative or judicial proceedings.
      [3/21: 33-15 (Party-line, except Bowman, Danielson, Dvorsky, Kinney, Quirmbach voting “yes”; Brown, Shipley excused)]