Dems: Education Committee Report – Week 4, 2018

January 31, 2018
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SSB 3002 – Increases maximum time students are to ride school bus;
SSB 3027 – Beginning teacher license date change;
SSB 3030  – Expands the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) initiative to homeschoolers;
SF 128  – One year waiver of Praxis II test scores for out-of-state applicants. 

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SSB 3002 authorizes school boards to determine the riding time for students on regular school bus routes. Currently, there are time limits established for how long students can ride on a bus under normal circumstances. For elementary students, it’s 60 minutes; for high school students, it’s 75 minutes. A committee amendment restricts the bus riding time limit to 75 minutes for all K-12 students. However, a school district may extend the one-way ride time beyond 75 minutes if the board holds a public hearing on the bus route changes, notifies all affected families and adopts a resolution to go over the maximum allowed ride time.
[1/29: 13-0 (Excused: Hart, Quirmbach)]

 

SSB 3027 removes the requirement that an initial teacher license expires in the month of the holder’s birthday. Initial licenses will instead expire at the end of the academic year. New Iowa teachers must complete two full academic years of teaching to go from an initial to a standard teaching license. When a teaching license expires on the last day of their birth month, it may fall prior to the end of an academic year. Beginning teachers who need additional time on their initial license must then pay for a license extension to finish the academic year. This bill will eliminate the need for teachers moving from initial to standard licensure to pay for an extension to cover the time between their birth month and the end of the academic year. This will be savings for approximately 200 teachers who currently  pay for an extension each year.
[1/29: 13-0 (Excused: Hart, Quirmbach)]

 

SSB 3030 expands the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) initiative to allow a student receiving home schooling to participate and complete coursework under the initiative if the parent/guardian pays current market rate to the ILO for providing such instruction. The fee will be established by the Department of Education and is the same for public schools, private schools and home schools. Currently, only school districts and accredited nonpublic schools may partner with ILO to provide distance education to high school students.

ILO is not a school. It is an initiative that partners with schools at their invitation to provide supplemental online course instruction. Upon successful completion of a course, ILO provides the school with the student’s percentage score. Grades and credit are awarded by the local school.
[1/29: 13-0 (Excused: Hart, Quirmbach)]

 

SF 128 requires the Board of Educational Examiners to waive, for one year, the requirement that either an out-of-state educated teacher or a graduate from an Iowa educator preparatory program must achieve a certain score on the Praxis II, which is a mandated subject matter assessment. Currently, to graduate from an in-state teacher preparatory program or to receive an Iowa teaching license, one must take the Praxis II and score above the 25th percentile nationally. A committee amendment includes in-state prepared teachers as well and requires proof that the applicant has a job offer, and the school district or nonpublic school demonstrates that a concerted effort was made to find a highly qualified teacher. By the end of the one-year waiver, a teacher must pass the content exam to be granted an Iowa teaching license.
[1/31: 13-2 (No: Dvorsky, Hogg)]

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