Education Bills Before the Iowa Legislature in 2017

Below is the list of bills that are before the Iowa Legislature that you should be aware of.  We’ll periodically update

Favorable bills for education liberty:

HJR 3 – A constitutional amendment that proposes “to provide home rule powers and authority for school districts.” Last action: Introduced into the House Education Committee

HF 9 – This bill It allows parents of students in a “lowest-achieving school” as identified by the Iowa Department of Education to petition local school districts for the closure of the school (“attendance center”), for the implementation of an education voucher program (similar to ESAs) or for the creation of  charter school. Last action: Introduced into the House Education Committee.

HF 26 – The bill authorizes a school board to exercise any broad or implied power, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, related to the operation, control, and supervision of the public schools located within its district boundaries. Last action: Assigned a subcommittee.

HF 48 – The bill requires the Iowa Department of Education to develop policies and plans regarding student data. It also prohibits the Department to make changes in the measures used to collect or maintain data unless specifically authorized in statute by the Legislature and Governor. Last action: Assigned a subcommittee.

HF 84 – Expands parent-taught drivers education. Last action: Assigned a subcommittee.

HF 139 – Requires any statewide assessment to be developed by the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP) at the University of Iowa. It would prohibit the use of Smarter Balanced or PARCC as a statewide, mandatory assessment. Last action: passed subcommittee

HF 140 – Makes the Common Core math and English language arts (ELA) standards that have been adopted into the Iowa Core voluntary for Iowa’s public and state accredited non-public schools. Repeals Next Generation Science Standards. Last action: introduced into the House Education Committee.

SF 29 – This bill would repeal the Department of Education and set up education savings accounts. Last action: Assigned to subcommittee.

SF 30 – This bill eliminates references and requirements to the Iowa Common Core or core curriculum or core content standards in the Iowa Code, but continues to direct the state board of education to adopt high school graduation requirements and assessment standards. It also creates a new task force for the development of a new assessment. Last action: assigned to subcommittee.

SF 31 – This bill simply gives school boards who want to establish mandatory uniform policies for their school districts the ability to do so. Last action: assigned to subcommittee.

SSB 1001 – Repeals the requirement for the State Board of Education to adopt rules requiring a statewide assessment starting in July 1, 2017 that is aligned to the Iowa Common Core Standards. Last action: Passed in the Senate Education Committee.

Bills that diminish education liberty:

SF 138 – a bill requiring quarterly visits by school officials or mandatory reporters to homeschooling families.

About Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012 which later merged with Iowa RestorEd. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

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