Legislative Updates

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  • 03 May 2020 7:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Iowa Legislature Will Continue Suspension of Session

     

    (DES MOINES) -- This afternoon, House and Senate leadership announced that the suspension of the legislative session will be extended through May 15.

    “The health and safety of all Iowans continues to be our primary focus as we monitor the situation and make decisions. I know my colleagues are eager to return to the Capitol to address priorities and complete our legislative work as soon as we can,” said House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford).

    “Iowans have been patient and played a critical role in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus during this unprecedented public health emergency. We need to get folks back to their jobs, schools, churches, and social lives in a responsible way as soon as possible. I want to thank Governor Reynolds for her cautious approach to reopen our state and return to normal.”

    The Legislative Council will meet over teleconference this week. A date for the meeting has not yet been set.


  • 15 Apr 2020 10:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Your Help Needed For Important School Mental Health Funding

    Despite not being at the Statehouse, lawmakers are using portions of the coronavirus hiatus to work on budget plans.

    Please contact the following members of the joint House/Senate Education Appropriations committee and tell them:

    · Continue to fund the highly successful Student Mental Health School Based Program

    · Please appropriate at least $3 million dollars for the program

    · Last year the program was funded at $2.1 million and was not enough to provide all the services needed by schools

    · Mental health services will be in demand following the virus outbreak and social distancing requirements

    Here is the link to the members of the House/Senate Education Appropriations committee.  Click on the name of the lawmaker to obtain their email address, and in many cases their address and telephone number.

    https://www.legis.iowa.gov/committees/committee?ga=88&groupID=675


    Suspension of the Legislative Session Will Continue

    The suspension of the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature will now continue until at least April, 30. 

    The leaders of the House and Senate have announced that they will reassess the “pause” in action again near the end of the month.

    Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver issued the following statement: “The Iowa Legislature continues to follow the guidance of the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. It is important for us to continue to lead by example and limit the possible spread of this disease,” 

    We will keep you updated on plans to return to the Statehouse for the conclusion of the 2020 Legislative Session.


    Governor’s 1-Cent Sales Tax Proposal Appears “Dead” For 2020

    The major policy proposal of Governor Kim Reynolds appears to be the first major public policy casualty of the pandemic-halted 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature.

    Perry Beaman of the Iowa Capital Dispatch broke the story in the following article:

    https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/04/02/iowa-economic-development-director-invest-in-iowa-act-likely-dead-for-this-session/


    Bills of Interest:

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2360 (formerly SF 2190 and SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    Passed the Senate 50-0.

    SF 2331 (formerly SF 2138) - School Employee Protections (M) - The bill provides that a public school official or employee shall not be dismissed, suspended, reassigned or otherwise punished solely for acting to protect a student’s freedom of expression or a student’s first Amendment rights.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2261 (formerly SF 2100) - School Mental Health via Telehealth (M) - The bill would allow behavioural health services to be offered to students via telehealth at schools.

    Approved by the Senate 49-0. Approved by subcommittee

    SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

    Approved by the Education Committee and referred to Ways and Means Subcommittee: Chapman, Quirmbach and R. Smith

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    HF 2532 (formerly HSB 598) - Disruptive Students (M) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    On House debate calendar

    HF 2521 (formerly HF 2120) - School Suicide Prevention Program Reporting (F) - The bill would require school districts to report to the Department of Education what types of suicide prevention training they are providing employees

    On House debate calendar


  • 02 Mar 2020 7:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Your Help Is Needed Now To Push Suicide Prevention Number Bill!

    The bill to require the state’s suicide prevention telephone and text numbers on student IDs is in need of your help!

    The bill, Senate File 2081, has not yet been voted on by the entire Senate.

    Please send a short email note or call your local State Representative and State Senator and urge them to:

    · Bring Senate File 2081 up for a vote, and Vote “YES”

    · The bill will make sure the state’s suicide prevention telephone and text numbers are on student IDs

    · Suicide is a serious problem in Iowa

    · What may seem like a small effort (the printing of telephone and text numbers on student IDs) has a gigantic effect when it saves a life.

    Here is the website to find out who your State Senator and State Representatives are:

    https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find

    Special Note - Two lists again this week, with the first being bill that remain eligible for further consideration and the second list, those that did not successfully weather the first procedural deadline.


    Bills of Interest:

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2360 (formerly SF 2190 and SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    Passed the Senate 50-0


    SF 2331 - School Employee Protections (M) - The bill provides that a public school official or employee shall not be dismissed, suspended, reassigned or otherwise punished solely for acting to protect a student’s freedom of expression or a student’s first Amendment rights.

    On Senate debate calendar


    SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

    Approved by the Education Committee and referred to Ways and Means Subcommittee: Chapman, Quirmbach and R. Smith


    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar


    HF 2532 (formerly HSB 598) - Disruptive Students (M) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    On House debate calendar


    HF 2120 - School Suicide Prevention Program Reporting (F) - The bill would require school districts to report to the Department of Education what types of suicide prevention training they are providing employees

    On House debate calendar




  • 25 Feb 2020 8:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First Procedural Deadline Passes

    The so called “First Funnel,” the day by which bills must be approved by one committee in the bill’s chamber or origin to remain eligible for continued consideration, is today.  This day is the first procedural hurdle of the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature.

    There are three types of bill’s exempt from the procedural rules.  Bills in the Appropriations Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Government Oversight Committee are not governed by procedural deadlines requiring committee approval by specific dates.

    The next milestone comes on March 20th.  That is the day by which a bill must be approved by at least one committee in the chamber not if its origin.  So as an example, a House proposal needs to be given the go-ahead by a Senate committee to remain eligible for further consideration this year.

    Special Note - Two lists this week, with the first being bills that remain eligible for further consideration and the second list, those that did not successfully weather the first procedural deadline.

    Bills of Interest:

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2360 (formerly SF 2190 and SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2331 - School Employee Protections (M) - The bill provides that a public school official or employee shall not be dismissed, suspended, reassigned or otherwise punished solely for acting to protect a student’s freedom of expression or a student’s first Amendment rights.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

    Approved by the Education Committee and referred to Ways and Means Subcommittee: Chapman, Quirmbach and R. Smith

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    HF 2120 - School Suicide Prevention Program Reporting (F) - The bill would require school districts to report to the Department of Education what types of suicide prevention training they are providing employees

    On House debate calendar

    HSB 598 - Disruptive Students (M) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    On House debate calendar - will soon receive a new bill number

    Bills that did not clear the first procedural hurdle of the 2020 Legislative Session:

    SF 2067 - Excused Absences For Mental Health Treatment (F) - The bill requires schools to adopt policies permitting a student to take excused absences from school for mental health treatment.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and Celsi

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee; Cournoyer, Edler and Wahls

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith


    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor


    HF 2201 - Gender Identity in Schools (M) - This bill would allow parents to have their children excused from any program, curriculum, material, test, survey, questionnaire, activity, announcement, promotion or instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Approved by committee with major amendment (yet to be seen…)


  • 18 Feb 2020 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Next Friday Is The First Procedural Deadline

    The first procedural hurdle of the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislative Session arrives this upcoming Friday, February 21st.

    The so called “First Funnel,” the day by which bills must be approved by one committee in the bill’s chamber or origin to remain eligible for continued consideration, takes place at the close business on Friday.

    There are three types of bill’s exempt from the procedural rules.  Bills in the Appropriations Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Government Oversight Committee are not governed by procedural deadlines requiring committee approval by specific dates.


    Bills of Interest:

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2190 (formerly SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    Approved by the Education Committee approved with amendment by Appropriations subcommittee

    SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

    Approved by the Education Committee and referred to Ways and Means Subcommittee: Chapman, Quirmbach and R. Smith

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2067 - Excused Absences For Mental Health Treatment (F) - The bill requires schools to adopt policies permitting a student to take excused absences from school for mental health treatment.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and Celsi

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee; Cournoyer, Edler and Wahls

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith

    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor

    SSB 3016 - Smoking Age Increase (F) - The bill increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Approved by Subcommittee

    HF 2201 - Gender Identity in Schools (M) - This bill would allow parents to have their children excused from any program, curriculum, material, test, survey, questionnaire, activity, announcement, promotion or instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Approved by committee

    HSB 598 - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    Approved by subcommittee


  • 09 Feb 2020 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First Procedural Deadline Coming Up

    The first procedural hurdle of the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislative Session arrives in just a few short weeks.

    The so called “First Funnel,” the day by which bills must be approved by one committee in the bill’s chamber or origin to remain eligible for continued consideration, takes place at the close business on Friday, February 21.

    There are three types of bill’s exempt from the procedural rules.  Bills in the Appropriations Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Government Oversight Committee are not governed by procedural deadlines requiring committee approval by specific dates.

    Bills of Interest:

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2190 (formerly SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

    Passed by Ed Committee and referred to Ways and Means

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2067 - Excused Absences For Mental Health Treatment (F) - The bill requires schools to adopt policies permitting a student to take excused absences from school for mental health treatment.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and Celsi

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee; Cournoyer, Edler and Wahls

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith

    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor

    SSB 3016 - Smoking Age Increase (F) - The bill increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Approved by Subcommittee

    HF 2201 - Gender Identity in Schools (M) - This bill would allow parents to have their children excused from any program, curriculum, material, test, survey, questionnaire, activity, announcement, promotion or instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Subcommittee: T. Moore, Salmon and Stead

    HSB 598 - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    Approved by subcommittee


  • 03 Feb 2020 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Major School Classroom Management Bill in The Senate


    Senate Study Bill 3080, a multifaceted bill targeted at dealing with disruptive students in the classroom, has been approved by a subcommittee.

    The bill does all of the following:

    1.     Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty;

    2.     Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies;

    3.     Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP;

    4.     Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program;

    5.     Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms;

    6.     Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety


    As of 1/31 the bill is supported by the Iowa Association of School Boards, Professional Educators of Iowa; Area Education Agencies, Urban Education Network, Rural School Advocates of Iowa and the State’s YMCAs.


    The bill may be considered by the Senate Education Committee this upcoming week. We will keep you updated.

    House Subcommittee Meeting Scheduled For Classroom Management Proposal


    The House of Representatives companion bill to Senate Study Bill 3080, House Study Bill 598, will be discussed the evening of February 5 in the Room 103 of Capitol Building beginning at 6:00 pm.

    Bills of Interest:

    Special Note - A small amount of bills introduced last year have been reassigned subcommittees and may be considered this year, that is why some bills with three digit numbers appear on this bill list.

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2067 - Excused Absences For Mental Health Treatment (F) - The bill requires schools to adopt policies permitting a student to take excused absences from school for mental health treatment.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and Celsi

    SF 2065 - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program. 

    Approved by subcommittee

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee; Cournoyer, Edler and Wahls

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith

    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor

    SSB 3080 - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    Approved by subcommittee

    SSB 3016 - Smoking Age Increase (F) - The bill increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Approved by subcommittee

    HF 2201 - Gender Identity in Schools (M) - This bill would allow parents to have their children excused from any program, curriculum, material, test, survey, questionnaire, activity, announcement, promotion or instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Referred to Education

    HSB 598 - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program; Appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; Provides for the submission of reports of student violence to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    Subcommittee: Dolecheck, T, Moore, Fry, R. Smith and Donahue - 02/05 @ 6:00 pm


  • 28 Jan 2020 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From our school mental health advocacy partners the Iowa School Mental Health Alliance, ISHMA, and Please Pass The Love.

    Please give specific attention and respond to the action request on a new bill SSB 3080 surrounding violence in classrooms. You can find out more about the specifics from the bill here: https://whotv.com/2020/01/27/iowa-senator-introduces-bill-to-take-on-violent-behavior-in-classrooms/

    There is no educator, admin, mental health professional, parent or child that is supportive of violence in a classroom, but as a state, we have to be careful to invest in creating strong sustainable children's and school mental health systems rather reactive approaches that can do more damage than good.

    We know many of you have already contacted the Senate Education Committee, which is great, but we ask that you remember to approach with kindness and respect. You will be heard with more weight if you lead using your expertise and stories versus anger. You have every right to be angry, too, but sandwich that in middle.

    Feel free to use any language you want, but a suggested email may say something such as:

    Dear Senators,

    Thank you for your service. I am writing in strong opposition to SSB 3080 and encourage you to fully fund our children's mental health system and amend the bill to incorporate research and evidence-based school mental health and trauma-informed practices that are showing exceptional results across the nation and within our state. ((((This is a good place to indicate your professional role and share relevant stories))))

    Respectfully,

    Your name

    Send to:

    amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov,chris.cournoyer@legis.iowa.gov, herman.quirmbach@legis.iowa.gov, jerry.behn@legis.iowa.gov, claire.celsi@legis.iowa.gov, eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov, jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov, craig.johnson@legis.iowa.gov, tim.kraayenbrink@legis.iowa.gov, mark.lofgren@legis.iowa.gov, ken.rozenboom@legis.iowa.gov, jackie.smith@legis.iowa.gov, annette.sweeney@legis.iowa.gov, zach.wahls@legis.iowa.gov, brad.zaun@legis.iowa.gov,charles.schneider@legis.iowa.gov

    For those wanting more explicit reasons why this bill is concerning, here are a few:

    1. Therapeutic rooms are great, but a competitive grant program means that those able to write better grants will get the services. Second issue is that we have a dismal workforce. Right now, in the metro, we have therapist agencies that are desperate to hire, but there is a very shallow pool.

    2. On the side, this language could open up a bevy of lawsuits for school districts. See Felix versus Hawaii in the 1990s (it cost the state $1 billion dollars). Many districts in our state have significant sped deficit because our state reimbursement doesn't come close to being able to meet the needs schools are having to pay for. Federal law requires the least restrictive environment is determined by the IEP team.

    3. We cannot emphasize enough how directly related this is to school mental health. This is the direct consequence of not having a thriving children's mental health system. Research and evidence is clear around the nation and internationally that when we put in high levels of prevention and supports we see a significant decrease in behaviors.

    4. We fully agree that we need to increase our special education service delivery models, but again we need to fund that.

    5. We're alarmed that we have included the words "detention facility" in the bill. Many of the behaviors we see in schools are a result of trauma and untreated mental illness. We absolutely, positively cannot treat and effectively change behavior with incarceration. Over 65% of those incarcerated have a mental illness.

    6. There is an overrepresentation of persons of color identified having behavior disorders and do not receive mental health treatment. This would only exacerbate this.

    7. We appreciate the language around using the IEP team, but the word "reevaluation" is a particular review that is used every three years. I am assuming they mean a "review" or perhaps a manifestation determination meeting? Hypothetically, let's say that team says a student needs additional services beyond a self-contained classroom, then what? I work with thousands of educators across the state in the smallest to largest districts. This is the exact issue. They want to get the students help, but there is nowhere to get the help. There are so few resources for this.

    8. We love the idea of data collection of violence against teachers.

    9. Sec. 7 Section 280.21 and following sections are concerning. There needs to be language in there about employees having de-escalation techniques, using restorative practices. The language is too ambiguous and does not adhere to best preventative practices nor evidence-based crisis techniques. If an adult is laying hands on a child there needs to be a comprehensive crisis plan in place to keep everyone safe.

    10. The return on investment is small to fund reactive measures yet far higher to fund preventative measures.

    11. The language in this bill does not align with what we know about toxic stress, brain science, and mental illness and will further stigmatize and ostracize those needing help.

    12. Our AEAs are already doing what this bill is proposing, but they are doing it better and with less funding. The AEAs have some of the most highly trained experts in the state that have implemented some of the most comprehensive school mental health and trauma-informed systems and are seeing amazing results because of it.

    13. Finally, as career educators that have worked with some of the most challenging kids on the planet, even after being at the hands of violence, we absolutely can say that if we put in the systems we need into place we would not have these behaviors. The system has failed these kids and until we ramp up our systems we will continue to see exasperated behaviors by children.


  • 26 Jan 2020 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Committee Approves ISSWA Legislative Ask!

    On a unanimous vote, the Senate Education Committee gave its go ahead to an ISSWA Legislative Priority.

    The bill, Senate File 2081 (formerly Senate Study Bill 3020) requires schools to include the telephone number and text line of the Your Life Iowa suicide prevention line on school student ID cards for students in junior high through high school.

    No word yet on when the full Senate will consider this important bill.  We will keep you updated.


    ISSWA / ISPA Legislative Day At the Iowa Statehouse

    Make plans now to attend the association’s Day At The Hill on March 4th!

    It will be a great opportunity to talk with your local State Representatives and Senators about the needs and concerns of School Psychologists and the students you serve.

    Bills of Interest:

    Special Note - A small amount of bills introduced last year have been reassigned subcommittees and may be considered this year, that is why some bills with three digit numbers appear on this bill list.

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    On Senate debate calendar

    SF 2067 - Excused Absences For Mental Health Treatment (F) - The bill requires schools to adopt policies permitting a student to take excused absences from school for mental health treatment.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and Celsi

    SF 2065 - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program. 

    Subcommittee: Lofgren, Cournoyer and Quirmbach - meeting 1/27 @ 4:00 pm

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee; Cournoyer, Edler and Wahls

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith

    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor

    SSB 3016 - Smoking Age Increase (F) - The bill increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Approved by subcommittee


  • 20 Jan 2020 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Legislative update from the Jim Obradovich from the Capitol Group:

    Subcommittee Meeting Set For ISSWA Legislative Priority!

    Just one week into the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature, a priority of the Iowa School Social Workers Association is ready for consideration.

    Tuesday, January 21 the subcommittee assigned to Senate Study Bill 3020 will meet. 

    The bill is an ISSWA legislative priority. It requires schools to include the telephone number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on school student ID cards.

    The meeting will take place at 3:00 pm in the Senate Lounge.

    Please take a moment and send a short note in support of the bill to the following members of the subcommittee:

    Sen. Jeff Edler - jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov

    Sen. Annette Sweeney - annette.sweeney@legis.iowa.gov

    Sen. Jackie Smith - jackie.smith@legis.iowa.gov

    Governor Proposes Keeping School Mental Health Training Appropriation!

    Included in her proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 is the continuation of an ISSWA backed appropriation for school mental health training.

    Last year lawmakers approved a new $2.1 million appropriation for mental health awareness training for educators and schools; for area education agencies to be used to identify a range of approaches to best meet the mental health needs of students and to strengthen community support for students; and for area education agencies to create a clearinghouse of mental health resources for use by schools and community providers.

    It is important to note that the Governor is asking lawmakers to dedicate $3 million dollars to the program for the 2021 fiscal year, an increase of $900,000!

    Attend The ISSWA / ISPA Legislative Day At the Iowa Statehouse

    Make plans now to attend the association’s Day At The Hill on March 4th!

    It will be a great opportunity to talk with your local State Representatives and Senators about the needs and concerns of School Psychologists and the students you serve.

    Shameless Plug!!!

    My wife, Kathie Obradovich is now Editor-In-Chief of the Iowa Capital Dispatch. To receive the Iowa Capitol Dispatch’s “Daily Dispatch” each morning for free, sign up at the Dispatch’s website: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/

    Bills of Interest:

    Special Note - A small amount of bills introduced last year have been reassigned subcommittees and may be considered this year, that is why some bills with three digit numbers appear on this bill list.

    (SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

    SF 2027 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hitline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Referred to Education

    SF 376 - Mental Health Education Requirements (F) - The bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills and suicide prevention to the subnject matter that must be included in a unit of health education.

    Subcommittee: Sinclair, Behn and J. Smith

    SF 342 - Immunity For Reporting Alcohol Injuries (F) - The bill provides immunity from certain alcohol related criminal offenses and prohibits certain disciplinary actions for persons who seek or require emergency assistance for alcohol overdoses.

    Subcommittee: Zaun, Nunn and R. Taylor

    SSB 3020 - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to inlcude the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

    Subcommittee: Edler, J. Smith and Sweeney

    Subcommittee meeting - 1/21 in Senate Lounge at 3:00 pm

    SSB 3016 - Smoking Age Increase (F) - The bill increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Celsi and R. Smith


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