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Legislative Report (Vol. XXV No. 5) February 10, 2006 Growth Factor Out of Senate Committee, Deadline Missed

February 10, 2006

The Senate Education Committee passed HF 2095, the allowable growth bill, this week. This should not yet be construed as an acceptance of the 4% figure as passed by the House. In a maneuver only occasionally utilized, the committee passed the bill out with no recommendation. It is expected at this time that when debated on the floor the 6% figure will also be floated. The big question is when it will be debated. They could decide to take it up at any time or it may languish on the debate calendar until an agreement is worked out on all of the education issues between all of the parties and the Governor. The statutory deadline for completion of the bill was yesterday.

House Republicans Set Their Budget Targets

House Republicans released their budget targets this past week. Budget targets are the figures the majority party determines they are going to use to fund each of the state budgetary areas. The education budget target announced this week was approximately $948 million. That is approximately $70 million less than the education budget proposed by Governor Vilsack. The education budget is not just k-12, but also other education areas such as community colleges and regent institutions. Past activities related to the budget, especially the education budget, is that there will eventually be negotiations between the House Republican figure and the Governors figure.

IPERS

Action was taken on two separate IPERS bills this past week. As reported last week Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on an IPERS bill that had been left on the table during the past session. The agreement, which includes increasing contribution rates for employees and employers by 0.5% a year over the next four years passed the Senate State Government Committee.

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 original House bill from this past year called for the same changes in rates but was for an eight year period as opposed to the four years under the Senate compromise. It is anticipated that the House will accept the changes.

In addition the House passed and sent to the Senate HF 2245. The bill makes changes to IPERS, including coupling with the IRS on the maximum amount in an account that can be cashed out without establishing a rollover account, makes reporting deadlines consistent, maintaining the current method of determining final average salary rather than switching in 2008, allows sheriffs and deputies to count time in any protection occupation as eligible service.

AEA Infrastructure Bills Introduced

Two matching bills dealing with AEA infrastructure were introduced this past week. Sen. Warnstadt and Rep. Wendt’s bills would appropriate $1 million from the rebuild Iowa infrastructure fund to the department of education for the establishment and implementation of an area education agency infrastructure grant program which could provide up to $200,000 to area education agencies for infrastructure purposes. The fate of these bills are uncertain at this time. Further explanantion of SF 2158 and HF 2266 can be found below.

Other

Also this week the House Education Committee passed the following bills:

HSB 522 SCHOOL FINANCIAL INFORMATION - Requires that school boards list all outstanding levies on a website before submitting a levy for voter approval, or before approving a levy. Also requires schools to have a financial report card on its website, or written copies if the district does not have a website, with information on property tax levies, per-pupil funding, teacher salary increases, student enrollment levels and other matters.

HF 2129 SUPPLEMENTAL ENGLISH WEIGHTING - Allows schools to receive supplemental weighting for limited English proficiency classes for four years instead of three.

Note: Due to prior commitments next weeks report will be sent later in the weekend.

Senate Files

SF 2150 - This bill eliminates the authority of the director of the department of education to grant a request made by a board of directors of a school district to commence classes prior to the earliest starting date allowed, which is no sooner than a day during the calendar week in which the first day of September falls or, if the first day of September falls on a Sunday, a day during the prior week. The bill makes a conforming change to eliminate an exemption from aid reduction for early school starts that school districts qualify for if they are granted a waiver from the school start date. Without the waiver, the school district's state aid payments are reduced by 1/180 for each day of that fiscal year for which the school district begins school before the earliest starting date allowed. By Putney, et.al

SF 2154 - This bill requires that each school district or accredited nonpublic school establish, unless a waiver has been obtained, a media center in each attendance center which shall be supervised by an appropriately licensed and endorsed school media specialist. In determining the requirements for accredited nonpublic schools, however, the department is directed to evaluate the schools on a school system basis rather than on an individual school basis. School districts and accredited nonpublic schools may apply for a waiver and a one-year extension of the waiver for FY 2007-2008 and FY 2008-2009. The bill takes effect July 1, 2007. By Connolly

SF 2158 - This bill appropriates $1 million from the rebuild Iowa infrastructure fund to the department of education for the establishment and implementation of an area education agency infrastructure grant program which provides up to $200,000 to area education agencies for infrastructure purposes. For purposes of the grant program, "infrastructure purposes" includes land acquisition and construction, major renovation and major repair of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities, site development, recreational trails, and routine, recurring maintenance or operational expenses or leasing of a building, appurtenant structure, or utility without a lease-purchase agreement. The bill exempts the appropriation from the definition of vertical infrastructure in Code section 8.57, subsection 6, paragraph "c".

The bill provides that area education agencies that have reorganized or are planning to reorganize shall receive top priority in receiving grants. Any unencumbered or unobligated moneys remaining at the end of the fiscal year do not revert but remain available for expenditure during the following fiscal year for purposes of the grant program. By Warnstadt

SF 2177 - This bill exempts a school board member who is under contract with the school district as a substitute teacher from the Code provision which states that a member of the board of directors of a school corporation shall not have an interest, direct or indirect, in a contract for the performance of services for the director's school corporation. The salary specified in the person's substitute teaching contract must be as determined in the salary schedule adopted by the school board or negotiated under Code chapter 20. By Quirmbach

SF 2190 - This bill directs the department of education, in cooperation with the Iowa department of public health, to convene a healthy kids task force to study and recommend measures to reduce the level of obesity in Iowa's student population. The department of education, in cooperation with the Iowa department of public health, is to provide staffing and administrative support to the task force. By Beall, et. al.

Senate Study Bills

SSB 3100 - This bill directs the state board of education to adopt rules and a procedure for the approval of alternative practitioner preparation programs that prepare a person, who has not completed a traditional practitioner preparation program, to obtain a license to teach English as a second language or to provide transitional bilingual instruction to students in one or more grade levels from prekindergarten through grade 12. By McKinley

SSB 3101 - This bill provides for the establishment of a new category of supplementary weighting relating to shared school operational functions. By Connolly

SSB 3102 - This bill provides for an extension of the period of time for which a school district may receive supplementary weighting for limited English proficient students from the current period of three years to five years. The bill makes a corresponding change to a provision that the school budget review committee may grant supplemental aid or modified allowable growth to a district after expiration of the supplementary weighting time frame. By Connolly

SSB 3106 - This bill requires school districts to have qualified teacher librarians and guidance counselors, but permits school districts to request a waiver from the department of education, and makes changes to the student achievement and teacher quality program, establishes an administrator quality program, requires the state board of education to adopt Iowa standards for school administrators, and provides for implementation of a beginning administrator mentoring and induction program.

The bill also adds new elements to the student achievement and teacher quality program, including teacher development programs and evaluation of teachers against the Iowa teaching standards. Proposed Governors Bill

SSB 3107 - This bill amends numerous Code sections related to the duties and operations of the state board of education, the department of education, and local school boards, including provisions relating to the sharing of public school instructors and services with students attending nonpublic schools, rules for participation of students in extracurricular activities, the submission of dropout and dropout prevention plans to the department and the submission of requests for modified allowable growth to the school budget review committee by school boards; the competency requirements persons must meet to receive a high school equivalency diploma, and the fees set for issuance of the diploma; community college tuition for nonresidents; quality instructional centers; newly reorganized area education agencies; school district payments and settlements; the purposes for which moneys received from the sale of school sites may be used; evening and part-time schools; fencing near school grounds; open enrollment requirements; school bus drivers; and extended school programs.

The bill amends Code section 273.22, subsections 6 and 7, to add a deadline of 10 days within which a school district may appeal to the state board an area education agency board's decision not to allow the school district to join a contiguous or newly reorganized area education agency. Proposed DE Bill

SSB 3111 - 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. By Connolly

SSB 3112 – This bill sets a growth rate of 6%. By Connolly

SSB 3114 - 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.

The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code section 25B.3. The bill requires that the state cost of any state mandate included in the bill be paid by a school district from state school foundation aid received by the school district under Code section 257.16. By Connolly

SSB 3115 - This bill requires that the board of educational examiners deposit 10 percent of the fees it collects annually with the treasurer of state, but permits the board to retain the remaining 90 percent to finance the activities of the board. The bill also permits the board to carry over to the succeeding fiscal year 15 percent of the total licensing fees collected during the fiscal year that remain unencumbered or unobligated at the close of the fiscal year. By Connolly

SSB 3116 - This bill creates a mathematics and upper-level science teacher shortage area incentive program in the department of education and a mathematics and upper-level science teacher shortage loan repayment program administered by the college student aid commission, establishes an additional supplementary weighting incentive amount for school districts participating in a regional academy that elect to adopt a common school calendar, and provides for supplementary weighting to school districts offering advanced placement courses and examinations. By Connolly

SSB 3126 - This bill states the general assembly's findings related to the bullying and harassment of Iowa's students. The general assembly, as provided in the bill, declares that it is the public policy of this state to advocate for the general welfare of children by requiring that school staff and volunteers demonstrate appropriate behavior and refuse to tolerate the bullying and harassment of students by anyone. The bill further requires school boards to adopt and annually review a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of all students. By Connolly

SSB 3145 - This bill creates a twenty=first century Iowa scholars program and fund to be administered by the college student aid commission to provide scholarships to pay the postsecondary costs of tuition and mandatory fees for Iowa students who are eligible for free or reduced price meals or are receiving foster care who agree, in writing, in grade seven or eight, to graduate with a 2.0 point or better grade point average, to refrain from illegal drug use, committing delinquent acts, driving while intoxicated, tobacco use, and truancy. By Connolly

House Files

HF 2248 - This bill provides for the expansion of authorized uses for revenue derived from the physical plant and equipment levy specified in Code section 298.3. Currently, revenue derived from the physical plant and equipment levy may be utilized, among other purposes, for the purchase, lease, or lease-purchase of a single unit of equipment or technology exceeding $500 in value per unit. The bill expands this authorization to include the purchase of software or payments under a software licensing agreement exceeding $500 in value per purchase or agreement, which relates to the equipment or technology purchase, lease, or lease-purchase. By May

HF 2250 - This bill establishes a mathematics and science teacher forgivable loan program to be administered by the college student aid commission. By May

HF 2252 - This bill concerns members of the Iowa public employees' retirement system (IPERS) who retire and return to employment under IPERS as a teacher of science or mathematics in a public school district. The bill increases the amount that an IPERS member who has a bona fide retirement and is under 65 years of age can earn in public employment as a mathematics or science teacher covered by IPERS from $30,000 to $45,000 and still continue to receive the member's retirement allowance without a reduction. By May

HF 2253 – Same as SF 2150. By May

HF 2266 – Same as SF 2158 – AEA Infrastructure. By Wendt

HF 2269 - This bill establishes the general assembly's findings with regard to the need for Iowa's students to have an appreciation for the state through the study of its history, government, and long and distinguished record of civic activities and contributions. The bill requires the department of cultural affairs to develop an Iowa studies professional development plan that includes a professional development curriculum and supporting materials and training measures to provide Iowa's teachers with effective ways to infuse Iowa studies into their secondary school classrooms. By Wendt

HF 2276 - This bill eliminates a provision that authorized a school district to excuse a graduating senior from attendance on instructional days which the school district added to the school calendar to make up for school calendar days lost due to inclement weather. The bill requires that graduating seniors meet the same attendance requirements as those required of any other class of students enrolled at the secondary level in the school district. By Chambers

HF 2280 - The bill directs the state board of regents to organize and conduct a comprehensive, statewide study of Iowa's kindergarten through grade 12 educational system to determine the best strategies for improving overall student achievement and reducing achievement gaps between racial and socioeconomic groups of children, but only if the legislative council or general assembly provides funding for the study. The bill directs the department of education, area education agencies, community colleges, and school districts to assist the state board in gathering and processing the necessary data and in gaining access to and input from stakeholders for the study. By Ford

HF 2284 – Successor to HSB 525. Requires the core curriculum plan developed for a student by a school district in cooperation with the student to be signed by the student's parent or guardian if the student is under 18 years of age. The plan must include career options and shall identify the coursework needed to support the student's postsecondary and career options. The plan must also be included in records the school district maintains regarding the student. The bill makes a conforming change. By Education Committee

HF 2290 - This bill directs the state board of education to adopt rules, in consultation with the department of human services, relating to participation of area education agencies and local education agencies in the medical assistance program. The rules are to include but are not limited to the areas of reimbursement and auditing standards and procedures. By Reasoner

HF 2294 – Successor to HF 2129. This bill provides for an extension of the period of time for which a school district may receive supplementary weighting for limited English proficient students from the current period of three years to four years. The bill makes a corresponding change to a provision that the school budget review committee may grant supplemental aid or modified allowable growth to a district after expiration of the supplementary weighting time frame. By Education Committee

HF 2297 - This bill requires that the practitioner and administrator preparation programs approved by the board of education, and the courses approved by the board of educational examiners for coaching authorizations include equity training and strategies for effectively working with diverse learners.

HF 2324 - This bill requires a school district to employ one school nurse for every 750 students enrolled in the school district or to employ a nurse on less than a full=time prorated basis if the school district has a total enrollment of less than 750 students. By Foege

HF 2326 - This bill appropriates $1.5 million from the general fund of the state to the department of education for the 2006-2007 fiscal year for a three=year before and after school competitive grant program. By Berry

HF 2343 - This bill requires that whenever a school bus is being used to transport pupils to or from school or to or from school-sponsored extracurricular activities, there must be at least one qualified employee or associate of the school on board the bus, in addition to the bus driver. By T. Taylor

HF 2346 – Successor to HSB 522, school financial records.

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