Legislative Report (Vol XXIV No 10) March 13, 2005 Ed Subgroup of Governors Governance Committee Makes Recommendations
The educational subgroup of the Governors Governance Committee finalized their recommendations this week. One of the recommendations is a school efficiency proposal that calls for heavy involvement by AEAs to facilitate the proposal. Some of the concepts within the proposal are listed below:
- Create a system for school officials to discuss sharing or increased efficiency opportunities with other school districts, educational partners, government entities (cities, counties, COGs), or others. The intent of any sharing or efficiency effort is to support rigorous and relevant student programming and efforts to increase student achievement through the reduced costs of operations, creating additional resource availability.
- Each AEA shall develop a Regional Plan, in a consistent format, that identifies existing, new, or expanded opportunities for school district sharing or efficiency of operations.
- Long-term – measures that identify dollars or time saved as a result of the sharing or efficiency effort.
- Lists of cooperative partners in specific sharing or efficiency opportunities.
- Evidence of program consolidation and high school or district reorganization.
- Educational stakeholders are aware of sharing and efficiency efforts in each region.
- AEAs will facilitates a series of meetings, in a consistent format, with school leaders on possible efficiencies or sharing opportunities
- The DE and AEAs, in consultation with the major associations, will collaboratively develop a uniform structured conversation process including specific categories of discussion with school leaders on possible sharing and efficiency efforts.
It is important to point out that these are just recommendations from a small group of legislators and now that it will face the scrutiny of the total legislature it is unknown what action, if any, the legislature will take prior to the end of the session.
Educational Examiners Board Changes
House File 529, which changes the membership of the Board of Educational Examiners, passed the Iowa House this week. The Board of Educational Examiners consists of 11 members, two public members and nine practitioners. Current law provides that one of the public members is required to be the Director of the Department of Education or the director’s designee. HF 529 removes the Director of the Department of Education from a public member position to an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Board. The bill will maintain the 11 voting members, but create a new nonvoting position.
The bill also changes a provision relating to complaints to the Board of Educational Examiners. Currently law requires the Board to resolve complaints within 180 days, unless good cause can be shown for an extension. The bill changes this provision to require investigation of the complaint and a determination of probable cause by the board within 120 days of the filing of the complaint, unless good cause can be shown for an extension of this limitation.
Ed. Appropriations Bill to House Floor
The House Appropriations Committee passed HSB 256, their version of the education appropriations bill. AEA references in the bill are within the section detailing the House GOP plan for early childhood. The bill appropriates $22.4 million for that purpose. Contained within the section are the following mandates:
- It is the intent of the general assembly that regional technical assistance teams will be established and will include staff from various agencies, as appropriate, including the area education agencies, community colleges, and the Iowa state university of science and technology cooperative extension service in agriculture and home economics. The Iowa empowerment board shall direct staff to work with the advisory council to inventory technical assistance needs. Funds allocated under this lettered paragraph may be used by the Iowa empowerment board for the purpose of skills development and support for ongoing training of the regional technical assistance teams.
- Of the amount appropriated in this subsection for deposit in the school ready children grants account of the Iowa empowerment fund that is used for distribution to areas, $1,000,000 shall be used to collaborate with area education agencies and community colleges to provide both child care and preschool providers with ready access to high-quality professional development.
Since this early childhood plan does not meet all the parameters of what the Governor wanted and under funds his request by $15 million there will much more discussion on this issue prior to the end of the session.
A Summary of Bills Introduced During the Week of 3-13-2005
HF 739 – Formerly HF 409 - This bill establishes an Iowa learning technology commission to administer the Iowa learning technology initiative. By Education Committee
HF 741 – This bill creates an alternative means for a student who is at least 14 years of age to receive driver education instruction currently offered by public schools to qualify for an intermediate driver's license. The bill allows a parent, guardian, or legal custodian who is providing competent private instruction to a student to teach the student driver education, provided the person has a valid driver's license that permits unaccompanied driving and has a clear driving record for the previous two years.
HF 742 - This bill makes changes to the Iowa early intervention block grant program by changing a reporting requirement, extending the program's repeal to July 1, 2006, and making that extension effective upon enactment.
HF 761 – Formerly HF 675 - Early childhood reporting
House Study Bills:
HSB 271 - This bill provides for the inclusion of funding for returning dropout and dropout prevention programs within the school finance formula. By Tymeson
SF 359 - This bill provides that a school district, city, or county can authorize deductions from the wages of school district, county, and city employees for payment to an eligible charitable organization.