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Legislative Report (Vol. XXVI No. 5) February 9, 2007

February 12, 2007

Growth Factor Moving Toward Completion

The Iowa Senate this week passed a four percent school growth factor for the 2008-09 school year. The House Education Committee also accepted and sent to the House floor the 4% figure and is expected to be passed by the full house next week.

The 4% growth would increase the cost per pupil by $213 to $5,546 for FY ’09.

House Approves Anti-Bullying Bill

After more than five hours of debate Wednesday evening, the Iowa House voted 62-37 to establish minimum standards in schools to protect children in K-12 schools from conduct perceived to be bullying or harassment.

However, the bill will have to go back to the Senate, which approved it 36-24 last week, because the Democratic House majority accepted Republican amendments. One amendment accepted spelled out that teaching and consideration of doctrinal matters in non-public schools would not be inhibited by the legislation. The other amendment related to ‘‘cyber-bullying’’ defined as harassment by e-mail, Internet-based communication, cell phones, instant messaging and pagers.

The Senate has already rejected the doctrinal issue and is reluctant to accept it at this time.

Senate Files

SF 109 - 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, 2008. The bill is applicable for state aid computation under the school foundation program for the school budget year beginning July 1, 2008. By Committee on Education

SF 127 - This bill allows students to be excused from school-related extracurricular activities if the activity interferes with scheduled visitation with a noncustodial parent. The bill requires that when a parent informs a school official of a conflict between an extracurricular activity scheduled outside regular school hours and the student's custody arrangement with a noncustodial parent, the student will be excused from the activity without penalty. By Danielson and Dotzler

Senate Study Bills

SSB 1170 - This bill provides that a member buying back service under the Iowa public employees' retirement system (IPERS) can receive a credit for the cost of purchasing that prior service equal to the amount of the member's employer's accumulated contributions that were not paid when the member received a refund for that service plus interest as calculated in Code section 97B.70 if the member received the refund prior to July 1, 1998. By Connolly

House Files

HF 249 - This bill establishes a mathematics and science teacher practical experience incentive program to provide a mathematics or science teacher with an opportunity to gain practical work or research experience through on-site employment with a business, industry, or state university or agency. By Boal

HF 252 – This bill provides that merged area and school district special elections shall be held on the same date as the regular school election. The bill applies to elections on public measures and not to special elections to elect public officers of a school corporation, county, or city. By Boal

HF 255 - This bill eliminates the state board of education's authority to adopt rules to waive fees charged to indigent families for the instructional costs for a driver education course offered by a school district, as well as the state board's authority to exempt a student from paying driver education course fees in a hardship case. By Sands

HF 263 - This bill appropriates moneys from the general fund of the state for FY 2007-2008 to the department of education for allocation to community colleges, in the amount of $50,000 per institution, for the development of adult English language learner instruction programs to be offered in workplaces to employees who are limited English proficient. By Ford

HF 267 - This bill authorizes the state board of education to approve up to five applications for the establishment, by community colleges or state universities, of junior-senior high or senior high charter magnet schools. By Wise and Tymeson

HF 270 - 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 286 – Formerly HSB 160. This bill provides a 4% growth factor. By Committee on Education

HF 317 – Formerly 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. By Committee on Education

HF 324 - This bill authorizes the negotiating of fair share agreements in collective bargaining agreements. By T. Taylor

House Study Bills

HSB 157 - This bill incorporates the funding from the phase II education excellence program of Code chapter 294A into the school foundation formula and strikes phase I funding.

HSB 160 – Same as SF 109

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