Legislative Update 2/5 [updated]

Update 2: Two more education bills were filed in the Iowa House just before adjournment this afternoon:

  • HF 2152 by Koester (R-Polk) and five co-sponsors to require radon testing and mitigation in public schools.
  • HF 2153 (a companion bill to SF 2029 by Bolkcom (D-Johnson)) by Murphy (D-Dubuque) directing the state board of education to convene a commission to study financing strategies for the state’s public postsecondary institutions.

Update: The Senate passed three education funding bills this afternoon:

  • SF 2079 (successor to SSB 3105) [26-23] establishing the state percent of growth for the 2015-16 school year at six percent.
  • SF 2077 (successor to SSB 3106) [26-23] establishing the categorical state percent of growth for the 2015-16 school year at six percent.
  • SF 2078 (successor to SSB 3107) [49-0] (note that the bill history shows it passing on a 26-23 vote, which doesn’t match the voting record posted on the Senate Floor Action page) relating to school district property tax replacement payments.

Anti-Common Core legislation was filed in the Iowa House this morning:

  • HF 2140 by Gassman (R-Winnebago) and twelve co-sponsors relating to academic and assessment standards for school districts and accredited nonpublic schools. This bill would remove “common core” and “core curriculum” and replace it with Iowa content standards, the use of which would be permissive rather than mandatory. The state board would set assessment standards (rather than core content standards) and would no longer be authorized to amend the core content standards as federal law or regulation changes.
  • HF 2141 by Gassman (R-Winnebago) and eleven co-sponsors relating to student academic assessments to be administered by school districts and to membership in a multistate assessment consortium. This bill would strike the subparagraph making changes to the statewide accountability assessments effective for the 2016-17 school year (would expand tested grades to 3-11 and require Iowa common core aligned assessment), and would require the director of the department of education to take action to withdraw Iowa from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.