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Legislative Report (Vol. XXVI No. 2) January 19, 2007

January 22, 2007

AEA Funding Bills

SSB 1024 and HSB 11 are identical bills submitted by the Department of Education and pertain to the issue of AEA funding. The way the bill has been drafted is somewhat misleading as it leaves the impression that all AEA cuts in the past are restored. The bill deletes from the code subsections 2, 3, and 4 in code section 257.35, which deals with AEA payments. An explanation of the deleted subsections follows:

  • Subsection two set in place the permanent $7.5 million cut in state aid.
  • Subsection three is the language that reduced AEA balances by $10 million.
  • Subsection four is the updated yearly language pertaining to our other reduction that was reduced to $8 million this past session

Striking subsection three is just code cleanup since the language is no longer needed. To actually restore the $10 million would take an appropriation of funds by the general assembly.

Striking subsection four has no practical effect because it is one time language necessary for them to reduce the $8 million in the current year. Whatever they decide to do with this issue this year will take specific new language during the appropriations process, unless they should desire to zero out the cut and then no language is necessary.

The only real (and important) impact of this language is to strike the permanent $7.5 million cut so that it is restored to AEA budgets.

This past week a subcommittee of senators Wood, Schmitz and Mulder passed and sent this bill to the full education committee. However, it is understood that no further action will take place until more information is available concerning budget targets and the appropriations process begins later in the session.

Senate Files

None this week

Senate Study Bills

SSB 1036 - This bill requires all children, prior to their initial enrollment in a public or nonpublic elementary or high school, to obtain a dental screening. The bill requires the person performing the screening to complete a uniform form regarding the screening and requires the department of public health to specify the procedures constituting a screening and to authorize a waiver for persons who are unduly burdened by the requirement. Proposed Dep’t of Public Health Bill

SSB 1042 - This bill relates to a meeting of a governmental body concerning an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered and a public records request concerning an applicant, candidate, or nominee being considered for employment with or appointment by a government body.

The bill makes changes to Code chapter 21, Iowa's open meetings law. Current law allows a governmental body to hold a closed meeting to evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered at a meeting of a governmental body when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual's reputation and the individual requests a closed session. The bill requires an individual in this situation to request the closed meeting in writing and to state the reason for requesting a closed meeting. Proposed Citizens Ombudsman Bill

SSB 1044 - This bill exempts Instructional Support Levy (ISL) taxes paid on the incremental valuation growth in a tax increment financing district (TIF) from paying the TIF. For example, if an ISL taxes property at $1.50 per $1,000 of net assessed valuation, that tax revenue flows to the school district and not to the city for purposes of the TIF. Currently, the debt levy is exempt and the physical plant and equipment levy may be exempt from tax increment financing. By Connolly

SSB 1048 - This bill relates to harassment and bullying of elementary and secondary school students and establishes a state policy that school employees, volunteers, and students in Iowa schools shall not engage in harassing or bullying behavior. Proposed Civil Rights Commission Bill

House Files

HF 40 - This bill provides an income tax credit of up to $250 for teachers that incur expenses for supplies directly used by them in teaching at accredited elementary or secondary schools in Iowa. To qualify, the expenses must be nonreimbursable from any source. If the expenses were deducted in computing federal adjusted gross income, the deduction shall be added in determining Iowa net income. These supplies include paper supplies, bulletin boards, books, maps, charts, computer software but not hardware, and other similar items directly used by the taxpayer as a teacher. The cost incurred to purchase supplies for which a tax credit may be received under this section shall not be used by a school district to supplement its costs of instructional materials. By Tymeson, et. Al

HF 43 - 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. By Pettengill, et. Al.

HF 45 - This bill replaces the current 180=day school calendar, which converts to a required 990 hours of instructional school time at 5.5 hours per day, with a requirement that the school calendar include 990 hours of instructional time for grades 1-6 and 1,080 hours of instructional time for grades 7-12. By Tymeson

HF 46 - This bill authorizes school districts, upon the request of a teacher or administrator, to pay through payroll deduction the teacher's or administrator's dues or membership fees in any not-for-profit, professional education association. If such a request is granted, all other requests for deductions for payment of dues or membership fees for membership in the same association shall also be granted. By Tymeson

HF 47 - This bill requires the board of directors of a public school district to reimburse a student or the parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in the public school district or in an accredited nonpublic school located within the boundaries of the school district, or of a resident student receiving competent private instruction, the advanced placement examination fee the student, parent, or legal guardian paid. However, to be eligible to receive reimbursement, the student must achieve a score of three or higher on the advanced placement five-point scale. The bill provides for the reimbursement from a standing, unlimited, annual appropriation made to the department of education for that purpose. By Dandekar and Wendt

HF 51 - This bill limits the school aid formula to provide a school district with funding for only a total of four consecutive or nonconsecutive years of high school per student. The bill takes effect for actual enrollments certified during the school year beginning July 1, 2008, and succeeding school years. By Tymeson

HF 53 - This bill provides that any ballot proposition relating to certain local option taxes shall be submitted to the voters at the general election only. The bill applies to the local option sales and services tax imposed by cities and counties, the vehicle tax, and the local option sales and services tax for school infrastructure funding. Ballot propositions relating to a local option tax include imposition, repeal, change in rate, and change in use. By Tymeson

HF 64 - This bill provides 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 four 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 supplemental weighting time frame. By Kaufmann, et. al

House Study Bills

HSB 10 - This bill restricts the presence of a registered sex offender on or near the real property comprising a school or child care facility. By Lykam

HSB 11 – Same as SSB 1024 – Eliminating AEA Budget reductions. Proposed DE Bill

HSB 12 – Same as SSB 1048 – Proposed Civil Rights Commission Bill

HSB 13 - This bill raises the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 years of age. The bill includes technical amendments to eliminate a reference to the compulsory attendance age for purposes of dual enrollment and to exempt children who meet conditions existing in Code section 299.2. Proposed DE Bill

HSB 15 - This bill permits the school budget review committee to recommend that the department of education send an accreditation team in to a school district for an on-site fiscal review under phase II of the accreditation process if a school district exceeds its authorized budget or carries a negative unspent balance for two or more consecutive years. Proposed DE Bill

HSB 16 – Same as SSB 1021? Proposed DE Bill

HSB 17 - This bill allows school districts to be compensated for services provided to foreign exchange students by including them in the actual student enrollment count each October. These students, who are part of the federal J-1 visa program, are not presently counted in the actual enrollment of a school, which is one factor in determining state and local financial support for schools. Proposed DE Bill

HSB 18 - This bill expands the scope of services under an existing appropriation for FY 2006-2007 made in 2006 Iowa Acts, chapter 1157, for the community empowerment initiative involving preschool services. The bill expands the services to be provided through the appropriation beyond preschool services to also include other supportive services. The bill also expands the four-year-old and five-year-old age range addressed in the appropriation to also include three-year-old children. Dep’t of Mgm’t Bill

HSB 21 – Same as SSB 1036 - Proposed Dep’t of Public Health Bill

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