Education Committee – Week 5, 2020


SF 2082 – Department of Education Code Clean Up

SF 2082 is the Iowa Department of Education’s technical code clean up. Main components of the bill include:

1) Language clean up related to how shared-time and part-time pupils from private schools who are enrolled in public schools to access classes or services are counted for enrollment.

2) The term “agency fund,” describing a fund maintained by a school district, is replaced with the term “custodial fund.”

3) Open enrollment requests for special needs student clarifications. Currently, a receiving school district only needs to grant the open enrollment request of a child requiring special education if the district maintains a special education program appropriate to meet the child’s educational needs and such enrollment would not cause the appropriate class to exceed the maximum class size. The bill clarifies that the enrollment of the child must not cause the caseload to exceed the maximum caseload in that special education program, and there must be sufficient classroom space in the general education classes to which the child would be assigned.
[2/6: 48-0 (Excused: Whiting, Zaun)]

SF 2142 – SSA/Categorical School Funding

SF 2142 sets the state supplemental aid and categorical funding for FY21 at 2.1%, which is $91 million. The Republicans have announced their plan to cut the AEAs an additional $15 million in the Standings bill, which would mean their 2.1% SSA will end up spending $76 million for basic school aid. This bill will result in $7,024 per pupil funding or an increase of $144 over last year. Democrats offered an amendment to increase school funding by 3%, which would have provided an additional $206 per pupil, but Republicans rejected the amendment on a party-line vote.
[2/10: 31-17, party line (Excused: Nunn, T. Taylor)]

SF 2164 – Equity Bill: Per Pupil and Transportation

SF 2164 addresses the school aid state cost per pupil (SCPP) versus the district cost per pupil (DCPP) and transportation equity.

The per pupil equity provides an additional $10 per student for some school districts on top of the state supplemental aid for the upcoming budget year.

  • This equates to an additional $5.9 million for schools in FY21.
  • It is estimated that 195 school districts will receive additional funding, of which 177 school districts will see the full $10 increase to their state cost per pupil. This is new money for those schools. 
  • The rest of the school districts will get a small property tax decrease, because $10 of their current DCPP will be paid for by additional state dollars. These districts won’t see “new” money under this portion of this bill.
  • The difference in SCPP vs. DCPP under this bill is now $155 maximum. Five districts are at that amount.

The transportation equity portion of the bill provides an additional $7.3 million to the Transportation Equity Fund for a total of $26 million in FY 21. This effort builds upon last year’s $19 million investment.

  • If a school district exceeds the statewide transportation cost per pupil, the district will receive a payment. An estimated 204 school districts will receive funding to buy them down to the statewide average in FY21.
  • SF 2164  gets all schools to the statewide transportation per pupil average.
  • The bill says transportation funding will grow by the Categorical SSA percentage starting in FY21. This means – an additional $400,000 will be generated through the school aid formula and the cost for FY21 SSA will increase by that $400,000. 
  • Since all schools are now at statewide average, that $400,000 will be divided between all schools.
    [2/10: 48-0 (Excused: Nunn, T. Taylor)]


SSB 3053 – Guardianship verification for school enrollment

SSB 3053, as amended, requires that a minor who is enrolled by a person who resides in the school district, submit to the school district either a notarized letter signed by the minor’s parent authorizing the person to enroll the minor child or proof of guardianship.
[2/12: Short Form (No: Celsi; Present: Quirmbach; Excused: Behn)]

SSB 3079 – Rural physician loan repayment program

SSB 3079 add obstetrics and gynecology as an area of specialization that qualifies for loan repayment under The Rural Physicians’ Loan Repayment Program. Currently, a person can engage in less than full-time practice under the program if they apply to the College Student Aid Commission to amend their program agreement and the commission determines that exceptional circumstances exist. The bill eliminates the exceptional circumstances, thereby allowing the commission and the person to consent to amend the agreement. Under the bill, “less than full-time” means at least 70% of a 40-hour work week. Finally, the bill modifies the definition of “service commitment area” to include a larger area.
[2/12: Short Form (Excused: Behn)]

SF 2041 – Show choir and marching band meet PE requirement

SF 2041 would permit a high school principal to excuse a high school student from physical education if the student is participating in show choir for at least the equivalent amount of time as is required for a one-eighth unit of physical education. The bill also exempts from physical activity requirements middle school and high school students who participate in show choir. For a student in grades 9 through 11, the student must seek the excuse to enroll in academic courses not otherwise available to them, the principal must consult with the student’s counselor, and the student can only be excused for one semester, or the equivalent, per school year.

The committee adopted an amendment to make the same option available to students in marching band.
[2/12: Short Form (Excused: Behn)]

SF 2100 – Tele-med option for school location services

SF 2100 outlines the process for a school to implement voluntary behavioral health screenings either in person or through the use of telehealth. No student can be screened without the written consent of a parent/guardian. Parents must be notified of the results of the screening, and they must be sent to a primary doctor. The bill requires establishing a provider–patient relationship prior to providing mental health services via telemedicine in a school setting. Schools must provide a secure, confidential and private room, and the technology necessary to deliver such services. Mental health providers must provide a way for the student’s parent/guardian to participate in the session. The school cannot have access to or handle any of the student’s medical records related to the provision of telehealth mental health services. A school, AEA or nonpublic school is allowed as a site of service for purposes of private insurance reimbursement. There was a largely technical amendment adopted in committee.
[2/12: Short Form (Excused: Behn)]