Legislative Update 3/20

The House passed three education related bills yesterday.

HF 532 as amended [62-35] by Gassman (R-Winnebago) to permit peace officers and retired peace officers to teach driver’s education.

HF 533 [96-0] by Byrnes (R-Mitchell) to establish entrepreneurial education funds for student organizations and clubs.

HF 537 [52-45] by Hess (R-Clay).  This bill came out of the Committee on Judiciary.  It creates a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of a child whose parents are requesting a dissolution of marriage to remain in the educational setting in which the child was enrolled during the previous year if the parents are in disagreement.  Educational settings include public schools, accredited nonpublic schools, and competent private instruction.  All custody orders shall, at a minimum, specify a parent’s rights and responsibilities regarding physical access to the child during the school day; access to records; decision-making authority including instances when parental consent or authorization is required; and the removal of the child from the educational setting during school hours.  Any parent with custody must provide a copy of the order to the child’s educational setting and school district.

I, unfortunately, missed the floor debate on this one.  I can only guess that it was filed in response to dissolution of marriage cases where parents of previously home schooled children are ordered to enroll them in public school.  Lobbyists for the Iowa Judicial Branch and the Iowa State Bar Association are registered against the bill.  Lobbyists for the Iowa DE, School Administrators of Iowa, Iowa Association of School Boards, IowaCatholic Conference, Iowa Educational Freedom Alliance, and Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators are registered in favor of the bill.