Education Committee – Week 21, 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.
[6/3: 49-0 (Excused: Hogg)]

SF 2261 – Tele-med option for school location services

SF 2261 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. An amendment was adopted to allow the first meeting of certain approved telehealth services to be completely online, but still requires a parent to be there at the first meeting.

The Senate concurred with the House amendment that changes the requirement that the results of the screening “shall” be sent to the child’s primary care doctor to “may” be sent. The amendment also eliminates the requirement that the mental health professional providing the services in the schools has to consult with the child’s primary care doctor prior to services being initiated.
[6/5: 50-0]


HF 2359 – Removal of mandatory entrance exams for colleges of education

HF 2359 allows an institute of higher learning the option of deciding to administer the Praxis 1 (or other exam) or not to administer any entrance exam, before granting admission into their College of Education. With fewer college students choosing to go into education and the continued challenge of attracting and retaining a diverse teaching force, eliminating unnecessary barriers to entry into the profession is a priority for a variety of K12 education entities as well as higher education institutions.
[6/3: Short Form]

HF 2443 – Eligibility requirements and assessments for the senior year plus program

HF 2443 removes the requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency in reading, mathematics and science under new Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress proficiency standards prior to participating in the program and modifies authorization for community college’s assessment of student readiness. Students still must meet academic standards set by postsecondary institutions to be eligible for concurrent enrollment.
[6/3: Short Form (Excused: Quirmbach)]