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Legislative Report (Vol. XXV No. 4) February 3, 2006 Growth Factor in Limbo

February 3, 2006

Legislative passage of a school growth factor for FY ’08 has been put on hold until the differences can be resolved. The House has already passed a 4% allowable growth, while rejecting a minority party amendment to move to 6%. The bill is now in the evenly divided Senate where Democrats favor 6% and Republicans 4%. It appears at this writing that the statutory 30 limit for passing this legislation will not be met and that the issue will have to be “notwithstood” until a later date.

In an effort move the issue along Governor Vilsack is attempting to negotiate a deal that will combine the growth factor with his other educational priorities. To that end he has asked the four party caucuses in the Legislature — House Republicans, House Democrats, Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, to each give him lists of ideas so he can craft a compromise package of school reform and spending legislation.

The following are the recommendations of the Senate and House Democrats:

Senate

EDUCATION ISSUES FOR DISCUSSION

  • Classroom discipline/Anti-bullying legislation (with enumeration)
  • $10 million for sharing incentives/whole-grade sharing
  • Parental Involvement
  • $40 million to equalize school property taxes – Education Equity
  • English Language Learners – extend waiting from 3 to 5 years - $6.3 million
  • $1.4 million for work study
  • Raise Compulsory age to 18

EDUCATION PRIORITIES

Early Childhood and K-12 Schools

  • Increase to school aid formula for early childhood (50%) and early parenting (50%) ($15million/yr for 5 years).
  • $50 million per year for 3 years to Student Achievement/Teacher Quality
  • FY ’08 allowable growth recommendation 6% - Full funding for AEAs (restore cuts)
  • $30 million per year for 3 years for reducing class sizes
  • $5 million for classroom technology
  • High School Reform – Rigor and Relevance
  • End Social Promotion – Increase student achievement and success
  • Teacher librarians and counselors in schools

House

Education Issue Priorities

  • Multi-year funding for preschool programs.
  • Multi-year funding for teacher quality program.
  • Staff development without infringing on instruction time.
  • State grants to retrain existing teachers to fill shortage areas in math and science.
  • Increase property tax equity in the school aid formula.
  • Classroom discipline /anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies.
  • High School Reform – Increased Rigor and Relevance
  • Multi-year funding for class size reduction.
  • Restore funding for technology grants to schools distributed on a per pupil basis.
  • Teacher librarians, counselors, and school nurses.
  • Twenty-first Century Scholarships
  • Convert SILO statewide.

Education Funding Issues

K-12 Schools FY 2008

  • FY ’08 allowable growth recommendation 6% ($156 Million)

K-12 Schools FY 2007

  • FY ’07 allowable growth recommendation 4% ($92.5 Million) (Includes full funding AEAs $11.8 million and restoring $7.5 million for AEA special education services)
  • $50 million per year for 3 years to Student Achievement/Teacher Quality
  • $29.3 million per year for 3 years for reducing class sizes
  • $5 million for classroom technology
  • $10 million for sharing incentives for whole-grade sharing
  • $1 million for infrastructure in reorganized AEAs

Early Childhood

  • Increase to school aid formula for early childhood (50%) and early parenting (50%) ($15million/yr for 5 years).

The House Republicans issued their priorities earlier in the session. They were detailed in the week two report and were centered on three main areas:

  • Focus on Student Performance
  • Parental Knowledge & Involvement
  • Better Accountability to the Taxpayers: the Taxpayers Right to Know

Nothing has been released yet from the Senate Republicans.

IPERS Bill Compromise

Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on an IPERS bill that had been left on the table during the past session. The agreement includes increasing contribution rates for employees and employers by 0.5% a year over the next four years, for a total increase of 2 % or approximately $122 million.

Currently, IPERS receives 9.45 % of an active member’s compensation. Employers pay 60 % and employees contribute 40 %. The 2 % increase in contribution rates would raise the total compensation contribution to 11.45 %, but the 60-40 split will remain. The rate increase would take effect in FY 2008. The IPERS pension fund has enough assets to cover 88.5 % of its liability. Its unfunded actuarial liability is $2.2 billion.

The compromise also includes the following measures: no benefit enhancements until the IPERS fund has enough assets to cover 100 % of its liability; and controls over “spiking,” or the benefit increases some employees receive because their salaries dramatically increased during their last three years of service.

A bill passed by the House during the past session provided that for the fiscal period beginning July 1, 2006, and ending June 30, 2014, the base employer rate may increase from the current rate by .3 percentage points per fiscal year and the base employee rate may increase from the current rate by .2 percentage points per fiscal year thus maintaining the current 60%-40% split.

When the bill went to the Senate a republican sponsored amendment to move to a 50-50 split on contributions was defeated 26-24. Republicans then asked to defer on the bill effectively killing it for that session.

Senate Files

SF 2131 – This bill directs the board of educational examiners to authorize a person who is licensed or certified to teach in a border state to be employed as a substitute teacher for not more than 40 instructional days per school year if the school district or accredited nonpublic school employing the person is located within 30 miles of the other state's border. By Mulder

SF 2132 - This bill creates a state of Iowa scholar program to award state of Iowa scholar certificates of recognition to high school students who graduate with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and attain a composite score of at least 27 on the national college admission and placement examination published by the American college testing program, inc., or an equivalent score on another national standardized college admissions examination. The governor and the general assembly shall issue the certificates of recognition annually to qualified students. By Mulder

SF 2149 - This bill amends the Code chapter dealing with the local sales and services tax for school infrastructure purposes by requiring, in determining the definition of "statewide tax revenues per student" for purposes of calculating a school district's guaranteed amount, that instead of the present set amount of $575, an estimated amount that would be generated by a 1 cent statewide sales tax divided by the budget enrollment would be used. By Warnstadt

Senate Study Bills

SSB 3060 - This bill provides a standing unlimited appropriation from the general fund of the state to the department of education for purposes of providing a $5,000 math and science teacher salary supplement for teachers employed by school districts who are assigned by the school district to teach two or more math and science courses at the secondary school level. The teacher must hold an endorsement issued by the board of educational examiners authorizing the teacher to provide instruction in mathematics, biological science, chemistry, earth science, general science, physical science, or physics. By McKinley

SSB 3065 - This bill converts the current 180=day school calendar to a required 990 hours of instructional school time in FY 2006-2007, with a requirement that the school calendar include 1,080 hours of instructional time in FY 2007-2008, and 1,260 hours of instructional time in FY 2008-2009 and each year thereafter. By McKinley

SSB 3066 - This bill makes various changes relating to property taxation, the school foundation formula, city and county budgets, and urban renewal incremental taxes.

The bill provides for an increase in the foundation property tax imposed under the state school foundation program pursuant to Code section 257.3, from the current level of $5.40 to $8.86 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on all taxable property in a school district. The bill also provides for an increase in the regular program foundation base and the special education support services foundation base under the state school foundation program from the current levels of 87.5 percent and 79 percent, respectively, to 100 percent. The foundation base is the specified percentage of the state cost per pupil calculation which is paid as state aid to school districts above the foundation property tax. These provisions of the bill apply to school budget years beginning on or after July 1, 2006. By McKinley

House Files

HF 2173 - This bill establishes penalties for anabolic steroid use by a student athlete and for the procurement, sale, or administration of an anabolic steroid, with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition, by a person who holds a license, certificate, or coaching authorization issued by the board of educational examiners. By Swaim

HF 2184 - This bill permits a receiving district to send a school vehicle into the school district of residence to transport a pupil participating in open enrollment to the receiving district. The bill strikes a provision directing the area education agencies to approve all bus routes outside the boundary of the district of the school operating buses, and makes conforming changes. By Wise

HF 2192 - This bill amends the Code chapter dealing with the local sales and services tax for school infrastructure purposes by requiring, in determining the definition of "statewide tax revenues per student" for purposes of calculating a school district's guaranteed amount, that instead of the present set amount of $575, an estimated amount that would be generated by a 1 cent statewide sales tax divided by the budget enrollment would be used. By Wendt

HF 2194 - This bill relates to the use of material by minors for educational purposes at any school or library and the attendance of minors at exhibitions or displays of art work.

The bill provides that nonobscene material may be used for educational purposes in any school, or public library, or any educational program in which a minor is participating. Current law provides only that appropriate material may be used for educational purposes at such institutions. The bill also provides that a minor may attend an exhibition or display of art works if the minor has parental consent to attend the exhibition or art display.

The bill also provides that a minor may have access to any material at a public library if the minor has parental consent to access "R" rated movies or to use the internet without a filter. "Material", "obscene material", and "minor" are defined in Code section 728.1. By Alons, DeBoef and Chambers

HF 2199 - This bill provides for a gradual increase in the number of instructional days contained within the school calendar for elementary and secondary pupils and makes appropriations.

The bill provides that for the school year beginning July 1, 2006, the number of instructional days shall be increased from 180 to 182. The annual increase of two additional instructional days shall continue for each succeeding school year until the number of instructional days reaches 190 for the school year beginning July 1, 2010, at which point the required number of instructional days shall remain at 190 for succeeding school years. By Wendt

HF 2202 - This bill adds a one=half unit course in personal finance literacy to the educational program each school district and accredited nonpublic school is required to offer in grades nine through 12, and requires all students to take the course as a condition of graduation. The personal finance curriculum includes the use of common banking instruments such as checking accounts; credit; debit cards; compound interest; mortgage, auto, and personal loans; investment basics including stocks, bonds, and index funds; credit scores; budgeting; saving and debt management; retirement planning and savings; and insurance. By Pettengil, et. al.

HF 2229 - This bill allows a school district to enter into a Code chapter 28E agreement with a contiguous school district to share school property taxes collected from that portion of the incremental value in an urban renewal area that has been released to the school district by the municipality that created the urban renewal area. By Rants

HF 2239 – (Successor to HSB 523) This bill requires the board of directors of each school district to adopt a parent and guardian involvement policy that, at a minimum, does all of the following: ensures that communication between home and school is regular, two=way, and meaningful; promotes and supports parenting skills; recognizes and supports the integral role parents and guardians play in assisting student learning; welcomes parents and guardians in school and seeks their support and assistance; makes parents and guardians full partners in the decisions that affect children and families; and utilizes community collaborations productively and community resources prolifically to strengthen schools, families, and student learning. The school district must publish the policy in the student handbook and on websites maintained by the school district or its attendance centers. By Committee on Education

House Study Bills

HSB 601 - This bill provides for the establishment of a new category of supplementary weighting relating to shared school operational functions. Proposed DE bill

HSB 620 - This bill updates language in the Code by replacing a requirement that the state board of education adopt rules for the use of telecommunications as an instructional tool with a requirement that the state board adopt rules for the use of educational technology as an instructional tool. The bill defines "educational technology" to mean any course that is delivered primarily through the use of electronic media. Proposed DE bill

HSB 621 - This bill raises the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 years of age. The bill includes a technical amendment to eliminate reference to the compulsory attendance age for purposes of dual enrollment. Proposed DE bill

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