Legislative Update 1/30

There are fourteen new bills in the Senate Education Committee, including HF 80 and HF 81 setting 1.25 percent growth for schools for FY 2016. Subcommittees have not yet been assigned for these bills.

  • SF 64 by Chelgren (R-Wapello) relating to the teaching effectiveness and employment of professors employed by regents institutions. This bill would require regents institutions to establish performance goals for professors and to terminate any professor, regardless of tenure status or contract, who failed to attain a minimum threshold of performance based on student evaluations. It would also require the institutions to publish the names of the five lowest ranked professors meeting the minimum threshold and allow students to vote on the question of retention, with the professor receiving the lowest vote also to be terminated regardless of tenure status or contract. [Subcommittee: Dvorsky (D-Johnson), Hogg (D-Linn), and Zaun (R-Polk).] Surprisingly, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa is registered as undecided on this bill. Hint, if a lawmaker is trying to override tenure with a Dancing-With-the-Stars style student voting mechanism, it is a bill you should register against.
  • SF 69 by Wilhelm (D-Howard) relating to filling school board vacancies. This bill would allow electors to file a petition to require a school board vacancy to be filled by special election rather than appointment. The signature requirement would be 100 or thirty percent of the number of voters voting at the last preceding regular school board election, whichever is greater. [Subcommittee: Wilhelm (D-Howard), Hart (D-Clinton), and Schultz (R-Crawford).]
  • SF77 by Petersen (D-Polk) modifying the supplementary weighting for limited English proficient students. The supplementary weighting would be increased from 0.22 to 0.3 and would extend period for the additional weighting for students identified as limited English proficient. [Subcommittee: Mathis (D-Linn), Johnson (R-Osceola), and Schoenjahn (D-Fayette)].
  • SF 79 by Bolkcom (D-Johnson) and Dvorsky (D-Johnson) relating to sexual assault policies adopted by state and accredited private postsecondary institutions and would require those policies to include an affirmative consent standard. [Dvorsky (D-Johnson), Kraayenbrink (R-Webster), and Wilhelm (D-Howard).]
  • SF 81 by Jochum (D-Dubuque) making certain students who are enrolled at certain barber schools or schools of cosmetology arts and sciences eligible for vocational-technical tuition grants. [Subcommittee: Hart (D-Clinton), Behn (R-Boone), and Wilhelm (D-Howard).]
  • SF 90 by Zaun (R-Polk) providing a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at regents universities for Iowa national guard members who are residents of Iowa.
  • SJR 3 by Zaun (R-Polk) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa to provide home rule for school districts.
  • SSB 1098 proposed Committee on Education bill establishing a mental health professional loan forgiveness program and fund. [Subcommittee: Quirmbach (D-Story), Mathis (D-Linn), and Schultz (R-).]
  • SSB 1099 proposed Committee on Education bill establishing a low-income program supplement for school districts to provide programs serving low-income pupils. [Subcommittee: Quirmbach (D-Story), Hogg (D-Linn), and Johnson (R-Osceola).]
  • SSB 1100 proposed Committee on Education bill relating to returning dropout and dropout prevention programs. This bill would expand the definition of returning dropout and potential dropouts to include students in grades kindergarten through twelve. [Subcommittee: Quirmbach (D-Story), Wilhelm (D-Howard), and Sinclair (R-Wayne).]
  • SSB 1101 proposed Committee on Education bill relating to the state preschool program for four-year-old children by establishing a preschool expansion incentive, authorizing, state aid for the incentive, and addressing program costs. [Subcommittee: Quirmbach (D-Story), Dvorsky (D-Johnson), and Behn (R-Boone).]
  • SSB 1109 proposed Committee on Education bill. The Keep Tobacco Out of Iowa High Schools Act would raise the age for smoking, using, possessing, purchasing, or attempting to purchase any tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products, or cigarettes from eighteen to nineteen. [Subcommittee: Quirmbach (D-Story), Dvorsky (D-Johnson), and Schultz (R-Crawford).] The Iowa Retail Federation is registered against this bill.