Education Committee – Week 6, 2020


SSB 3132 – Board of Regents technical and regulatory cleanup bill

SSB 3132 modifies various regulatory sections regarding the Board of Regents, including:

  • Changes gifts and grants reporting from monthly to quarterly.
  • Eliminates the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission waiver request requirement, which would put the universities into the same category of users as private colleges and nonpublic schools.
  • Updates Iowa’s open meetings law to allow the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to go into closed meetings just as other public hospital boards, when discussing patient care quality, process improvement initiatives, or marketing and pricing strategies.
  • Amends Iowa’s confidential records law to allow proprietary intellectual property owned or held under contractual agreements by the Board of Regents to be considered confidential records.
  • Adds the Board of Regents institutions to those entities already exempt from having a licensed high-voltage electrician.
  • Eliminates outdated regents resource center language.
  • Eliminates cooperative purchasing annual report and updates various other language and reporting requirements.
    [2/17: Short Form (Excused: Edler)]

SF 199 – Eliminates voluntary diversity plans in open enrollment decisions

SF 199 eliminates implementation of a voluntary diversity plan as a reason to deny open enrollment of a pupil. Under current law, a school district subject to a voluntary diversity plan or court-ordered desegregation may deny a request for open enrollment of a pupil from one district to another if the superintendent finds that the enrollment or release of the pupil will adversely affect the district’s implementation of the voluntary diversity plan or court-ordered desegregation.

Voluntary diversity plans were enacted after changes made by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. 701 (2007). A voluntary diversity plan had to be adopted by the school district within a certain time frame, could only concern a limited number of factors, and could not use race as a factor. Five Iowa school districts currently have voluntary diversity plans, with three districts using socioeconomic status (Davenport, Des Moines and Waterloo) and two districts (West Liberty and Postville) using English language learner status as their metrics for denying open enrollment. There are no districts in Iowa currently under a court-ordered desegregation plan.
[2/17: 8-7, party-line (No: Democrats, Cournoyer, Lofgren)]

SF 2004 – Eliminates of Iowa Learning Online, moving online to AEAs

SF 2004 started as a continuation and appropriation of the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) program. The committee adopted a strike-all amendment that eliminated the ILO program and replaces it with a program that maintains current standards and requirements for online learning and moves the ILO program goals and outline to the AEAs. According to the AEAs, they can provide the same online offerings for less money and be self-sufficient in two years. A committee amendment corrected a grammatical mistake in current code and provided clarification that already approve online programs don’t need a second approval layer.
[2/17: Short Form (Excused: Edler)]

SF 2058 – Compensation of college athletes in Iowa

A recent California law called the Fair Pay to Play Act (FPTP) will allow college athletes to make money from endorsement deals for the first time. Similar laws are now being introduced across the country.

SF 2058 prohibits Iowa colleges or universities from enforcing any rule or other limitation that prevents an athlete from fully participating in intercollegiate athletics and earning compensation as a result of the use of the athlete’s name, image or likeness rights, or athletic reputation or that otherwise penalizes such an athlete. The college athlete’s financial aid eligibility, amount, duration or renewal will not be affected.

The bill prohibits a college athlete from entering into an apparel, equipment or beverage contract providing compensation that requires the athlete to display a sponsor’s apparel, equipment or beverage, or that otherwise advertises for the sponsor during official team activities, if such provisions are in conflict with a provision of the athlete’s team contract. The bill limits such team activities to 20 hours per week during the athletic season and eight hours per week during the off-season.

The colleges or universities may require an athlete to deposit some or all funds received into a trust fund, with all applicable state taxation deferred, until the athlete is no longer eligible to participate in the institution’s athletic program. The bill takes effect July 1, 2023.
[2/19: 13-1 (No: Behn; Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2066 – Occupational therapists and concussion and brain injury protocols

SF 2066 adds occupational therapists to those qualified to implement concussion and brain injury policies for extracurricular school activities. Duties include, but are not limited to, making determinations regarding removal of students from participation in such activities and their return to participation.
[2/19: 14-0 (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2101 – Requiring schools to display preamble of Declaration of Independence

SF 2101 requires every public school and each accredited nonpublic school to display the preamble to the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
[2/17: 11-3 (No: Celsi, Giddens, J. Smith; Excused: Edler)]

SF 2138 – Protecting teachers and free speech

SF 2139 says that a public school employee cannot be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred, or subject to nonrenewal of a teaching contract or an extracurricular contract solely for protecting a student’s freedom of expression.
[2/19: 14-0 (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2235 – Dyslexia expanded support services

SF 2235 requires the State Board of Education to establish procedures for the approval of practitioner preparation programs that offer an advanced dyslexia specialist endorsement by July 2022. The Department must maintain a dyslexia consultant to provide technical guidance and assistance. Subject to an appropriation, each Area Education Agency must maintain a dyslexia specialist. In the absence of an appropriation, each AEA is encouraged to employ a highly qualified dyslexia specialist. An Iowa Dyslexia Board is established to oversee implementation of dyslexia instruction in Iowa and to make recommendations for continued improvement.

The bill expands the definition of dyslexia used to determine what schools must provide to students who are persistently at risk in reading to develop the skills to read at grade level. Finally, by July 1, 2024, the bill requires all K-3 teachers to complete the Iowa Reading Research Center dyslexia overview module.

A committee amendment was adopted that sunsets the task force in 2025 and includes a requirement that Title 1 and English language learning teachers take the dyslexia training module from the Iowa Reading Research Center.
[2/19: 14-0 (Excused: Wahls)]