Education Committee – Week 8, 2020


HF 2340 – 529 usage for out-of-state schools

HF 2340 permits monies from the Iowa Educational Savings Plan Trust (529 Plans) for students requiring special education to be used to attend out-of-state elementary or secondary schools. Current Iowa law allows tax-free withdrawals from Iowa accounts for elementary and secondary tuition expenses, but the educational institution must be in Iowa. This bill would allow the same tax avoidance to students requiring special education attending qualified schools out of state. The expansion of the income tax exemption is estimated to reduce General Fund revenue by $175,000 in FY21 through FY24, and $145,000 in succeeding fiscal years.
[3/4: 12-0 (Excused: Behn, Wahls, Zaun)]

HF 2418 – Director of Education and BOEE sharing corrective licensure information

HF 2418 says that if a school district requests the Department of Education to review information contained in a BEDS (Basic Education Data Survey) submission and the Director finds an error relating to licensure of a practitioner, they must notify the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). BOEE will initiate corrective action.
[3/4: 12-0 (Excused: Behn, Wahls, Zaun)]


SF 2142 – Allowable Growth/SSA/Categorical School Funding

SF 2142 increases PreK-12 basic funding for the next school year at 2.3%. Senate Republicans originally supported a 2.1% increase in state supplemental aid and categorical funding for FY21. The Republicans have announced their plan to cut the AEAs an additional $15 million in the Standings bill, which would mean $76 million for basic school aid. The House Republicans proposed 2.5% SSA. Three weeks later, House and Senate Republicans compromised at 2.3%, which amounts to $86 million for schools across the state. It is below the Governor’s recommendation and the Houses’ original proposal. Democrats offered an amendment to increase funding by 3%, which would have provided $133 million, but Republicans rejected it. 
[3/4: 31-17, party line (Excused: Rozenboom, Wahls)]

SF 2284 – Board of Regents technical and regulatory cleanup bill

SF 2284 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. Requires new report.
  • Eliminates outdated Regents Resource Center language and updates continuous improvement language.
    [2/27: 49-0 (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]

SF 2310 – Eliminates Iowa Learning Online, moving online to AEAs

SF 2310 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, 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. An amendment corrected a grammatical mistake in current code.
[2/27: 49-0 (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]

SF 2329 – Occupational therapists and concussion and brain injury protocols

SF 2329 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 activities and their return to participation.
[2/27: 49-0 (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]