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Legislative Report (Vol XXIV No.2) Jan 17th, 2005 Senate Approves Allowable Growth

January 21, 2005

The Senate unanimously approved SF 36, the allowable growth bill on Wednesday. The bill, which establishes a 4% increase, means that state aid will be worth $2.074 billion, an increase of $99.5 million over the previous year. Total support for schools will be $3.14 billion, with $1.07 billion coming from local property taxes.

The bill now goes to the House. The House Education Committee voted out a 4% allowable growth bill on Tuesday and is expected to bring it up on the floor on Monday. There is some speculation that minority democrats may offer amendments to increase the percentage, but the assumption is that the 4% figure will be sent to the Governor and he will sign it.

The Governor is expected to request additional education funding for other educational issues such as teacher compensation and professional development when he submits his budget later this month.

State Board of Education Proposals

The State Board of Education has approved and distributed their education proposals for this session. Those proposals are:

  • General Education Funding
    Increase support for education at all levels
  • K-12
    Maintain the 4% Allowable Growth for the FY 2006, and increase the level of allowable growth for FY 2007
    Renew the Class Size program for 4 years for $30 million annually
  • Community Colleges
    Make increases in community college state general aid for FY 2006 comparable to K-12 support
    Increase the community college levy authority to increase local and regional decision-making
  • AEAs
    Fund the AEAs at a level comparable to K-12 and community colleges
  • Implement the Iowa Learns Council recommendations
    Increase funding for pre-schools
    Increase incentives for improving the efficiency of school operations
  • Teacher Quality/Student Achievement
    Appropriate $20 million to provide two additional days of teacher professional development
    Appropriate additional funds for teacher
  • Implement Legislation
    Implement legislation to establish leadership standards, for induction programs for new administrators, for evaluations based on standards and individual career development plans for all administrators

Legislative Update

A Summary of Bills Introduced During the Week of 1-17-2005

House Files:

HF 79 - This bill allows a school board to use the management levy to pay for employee health benefits but prohibits an arbitrator from requiring that use of the levy. Allows for voters to seek a special election over the use of the levy for health benefits. By Frevert

HF 81 - Exempts a hearing-impaired employee of either the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School or the Iowa School for the Deaf from the requirement that a school bus driver possess current certificate of qualification for operation commercial motor vehicle, if the individual is authorized transport students or clients by the respective school’s superintendent and the vehicle designed to carry not more than 15 persons. By Jones

HF 82 – This bill requires the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post High School Education to make its meetings open to the public whenever the Council meets to consider comments for submission to the College Student Aid Commission related to registration of post secondary schools. By Eichhorn

HF 94 - This bill provides for the establishment of alternative benefits to those provided under the Iowa public employees' retirement system (IPERS) for teachers and employees of municipal and county hospitals.
For teachers, the bill requires the state board of education to establish an alternative pension and annuity retirement system for elementary and secondary school teachers employed by a school district or area education agency. The bill provides, effective July 1, 2006, that current teachers, and teachers hired on or after July 1, 2006, have the option to elect to be covered under IPERS or the alternative retirement system within a specified time period. The bill establishes the requirements for the alternative plan for teachers, including the required payment options following a participant's retirement. The bill requires that the plan be an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan and that the contributions to the plan be the same as the annual contributions that would have been made to IPERS if the employee elected to remain in IPERS. The bill provides that employer and employee contributions are fully vested immediately. By Kurtenbach

House Study Bills:

HSB 19 - This joint resolution proposes an amendment adding a new Article XIII to the Constitution of the State of Iowa, giving the people of Iowa the right to vote on certain adopted increases of taxes and fees, so that the increases will not take effect unless approved by majority vote at a state general election. By Van Fossen

HSB 20 - 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. By Tymeson

HSB 26 - This bill provides that pupils attending classes taught via the Iowa communications network qualify for supplementary weighting pursuant to Code section 257.11. Currently, pupils attending a class in which students from one or more other school districts are enrolled which is taught via the Iowa communications network are not regarded as attending a class in another school district or in a community college for supplementary weighting purposes. The bill provides that pupils attending classes via the Iowa communications network qualify for supplementary weighting to the same extent and on the same basis as a pupil qualifying pursuant to Code section 257.11, subsection 2, regarding district-to-district sharing programs, and Code section 257.11, subsection 3, regarding district-to-community college sharing programs. By Tymeson

HSB 27 - This bill eliminates language related to extended school programs, which are identified in the Code as programs school districts may voluntarily establish for residents of the school district who are over 21 years of age, do not possess a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma under Code chapter 259A, and are enrolled in an education program in the district. Residents attending such a program are counted in the district's basic enrollment and attend on a tuition-free basis. By Tymeson

Senate Files:

SF 36 - This bill establishes a state percent of growth of 4 percent for purposes of the state school foundation program for the school budget year beginning July 1, 2006. The bill is applicable for state aid computation under the school foundation program for the school budget year beginning July 1, 2006. By Committee on Education

SF 45 - This bill makes clear that when the board of directors of a school district is notified that a student currently enrolled in the school district is required to register as a sex offender, the board must determine the educational placement of the student. Brunkhorst and Kreiman

SF 46 - This bill requires the state board of education to set a goal of reaching, by July 1, 2009, a minimum statewide core curriculum completion rate of 80 percent of graduating seniors. The bill also requires school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to report to the department and the local community the percentage of students who graduated during the prior school year and completed a core curriculum. Under the bill, a "core curriculum" consists of the minimum number of high school courses the American college of testing programs, inc., (ACT) recommends a student take to prepare for career and vocational purposes. Currently, ACT recommends four years of English and three years each of mathematics, science, and social studies. By Brunkhorst

Senate Study Bills:

SSB 1027 - Makes anyone who manufactures or possesses with the intent to deliver controlled substances or counterfeit controlled substances within 1000 feet of a school, park, or public pool or recreation area subject to a five year addition to their sentence. By Committee on Judiciary

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