6/6/2020 Legislative Update

12 Jun 2020 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

ISSWA Leads Effort to Fix Issues in Disruptive Students Bill


Working with Representatives Cecil Dolecheck, Dave Kerr and Mary Masher, the Iowa School Social Workers Association was able to secure significant changes to Senate File 2360.

The changes included in an amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee are:

· Requiring the bill’s grant program provides opportunities to access funds for school districts of all sizes. Specifically requiring that the available funds be distributed equitably between small, medium and large school districts (small = under 600 students, medium = 600 to 2499 students, and large = 2500 students and up.)

· Removal of corporal punishment language from the bill because current law already allows for the removal of a disruptive student from class or any area of a school premises or from school sponsored activities. The removal of the duplicative language eliminates an area of potential confusion.

· Adding greater clarification to what is defined as “retaliation.” The amendment now specifies that the protection from “retaliation” is specific to coming in contact with a student.

The bill and amendment now need to be approved by the full House of Representatives.  Then the Senate will need to give its approval to the House changes.


Second Funnel Comes: Claims A Few Bills of Interest

The second procedural hurdle for policy bills came at the end of business on Saturday, June 6.

The so-called “Second Funnel” is the date by which a bill has to be approved by a committee in the opposite chamber - meaning a House File must be approved by a Senate committee and a Senate File by a House committee - to remain eligible for further consideration this year.

 

Senate File 2081 which would have required schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards is the most notable ISSWA backed bill to not advance.


Telehealth for Schools Approved By Lawmakers


A major move forward for providing mental health services in schools is on its way to the desk of the Governor.

Senate File 2261 was approved and amended by the House this past Thursday and on Friday the Senate concurred with the technical changes made by the House.

The bill allows behavioral health services to be offered in schools, either in person or by telehealth.  Further, the bill prohibits private insurance providers from denying coverage of school delivered behavioral health services.



Bills of Interest:

Bills that remain eligible for further consideration are below. Those bills no longer eligible are struck through.

(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. On House debate schedule.

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 behavioral health services to be offered to students via telehealth at schools.

Approved by the Senate 49-0. Amended and Approved by the House 92-4.

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 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 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

HF 419 - Music Therapist Certification (M) - This bill would require a person claiming to be a music therapist to hold a board certified credential or a professional designation by the National Music Therapy Registry. The bill may need clarification as it is unclear if providing therapeutic music services is also covered in the bill.

Passed the House 96-3 on 4/3/19. Approved by Senate Committee


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