Education Committee – Week 4, 2022


SF 168 – Special education student in nonpublic school settings taskforce

SF 168 – The health services, special education support and related services provided by Area Education Agencies (AEAs) may, under current law, be provided on nonpublic school premises. The bill modifies the language to require that such services be provided on the nonpublic school premises, if the parents or guardian of the student receiving the services want the services provided at the nonpublic school. According to the Iowa Department of Education (DE), this would run contrary to federal law. 

The committee adopted an amendment that changes this bill to a task force. The Department will convene a special education task force to study and make recommendations regarding how to better serve students at nonpublic schools who receive special education services, especially those in rural areas. 
[2/2: 14-0 (Excused: Carlin)]

SSB 3003 – Mental health loan repayment program set up

SSB 3003 establishes a mental health professional loan repayment program within the College Student Aid Commission. There is no direct appropriation or money provided in this bill, but a fund is created. The policy would provide loan repayment for a qualified person who agrees to engage either full-time in an eligible practice area for five consecutive years or part-time in an eligible practice area for seven consecutive years.

The commission must give priority to mental health professionals who are residents of Iowa and who are members of the Iowa National Guard. A mental health professional may receive up to $8,000 per year for loan repayment, but cannot exceed a total of $40,000. If the professional fails to fulfill the obligation to engage in practice, they’ll be subject to repayment with interest.

The commission must submit a report to the Legislature by January 1 each year, describing the number of mental health professionals who received loan repayment, where the mental health professionals practiced, the amount paid to each mental health professional, and other information on outcomes of the program.
[2/2: 14-0 (Excused: Carlin)]

SSB 3067 – Teacher recruitment and retention

SSB 3067 relates to provisions of educator licensure and grant eligibility. The bill makes changes to the Teach Iowa Scholar program, which provides grants to certain high achieving students in teacher preparation programs, in amounts not to exceed $4,000 annually or $20,000 over five years. The appropriation for this program must be equally divided between applicants preparing to teach in a school district with less than 1,000 students and applicants preparing to teach in a school district with more than 1,200 students.

Current law authorizes the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) to issue a regional exchange teaching license to an applicant who graduates from out-of-state college but who is applying for their first teaching job in Iowa, if the applicant is an Iowa resident. The bill removes the in-state resident requirement.

Current law requires the BOEE to adopt rules to provide for nontraditional preparation options for licensing educators and those who do not meet other requirements for licensure. The BOEE must issue a teacher intern license to anyone who meets certain basic requirements of college graduation, three years of work and an employment offer from an Iowa school.

The BOEE must issue an initial teaching license if the employing school recommends that the licensee be allowed to apply for an initial teaching license. Finally, school districts may adopt an incentive program to recruit teachers similar to the incentive programs they offer for early retirement. However, school districts cannot adopt a program for early retirement benefits and a program for student loan repayment at the same time. Schools may use district management levy funds to pay the costs.
[2/2: 14-0 (Excused: Carlin)]