Legislative Updates

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  • 17 Jun 2020 7:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2020 Iowa Legislative Session Comes To An End

    The nearly three month long “pandemic pause” will certainly be what is remembered most about the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature.

    Monday, March 16 was the day lawmakers hit the “pause button” on activity at the Statehouse.  They returned on Wednesday, June 3 and initiated a schedule that compressed the missed time into 11 days of work.

    With state revenues down due to the forced closure of most businesses, budget decisions were even more difficult.  Most proposed changes to tax policy were also not acted upon.


    Student Mental Health Funding Approved Again!

    The ISSWA, School Psychologists Association, Iowa Nurses Association, Iowa School Nurses Organization and Mental Health America all joined forces to successfully push for the continuation of the state’s Student Mental Health School Based Program.

    The program, which was initiated last year, will again receive an appropriation of $2.1 million in the omnibus spending bill, House File 2643.

    Of the $2.1 million dollars appropriated, $1,200,000 will be allocated to the area education agencies to provide mental health awareness training for educators and schools.

    $750,000 will be allocated to the 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.

    Finally $150,000 will be used by the area education agencies to create a clearinghouse of mental health resources for use by schools and community providers.


    Disruptive Student Bill Heads To The Governor

    After months of sometimes heated debate, Senate File 2360, a bill focused on disruptive students, is headed to the desk of Governor Kim Reynolds.

    The Iowa School Social Workers Association, working with Representatives Cecil Dolecheck, Dave Kerr and Mary Masher, was able to secure significant changes to the controversial proposal.

    The changes include:

    · 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.

    Thanks again to all the ISSWA members who contacted lawmakers regarding the needed changes to the bill.


    Telehealth for Schools Approved By Lawmakers

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

    Senate File 2261, 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:

    This is the final disposition of bills of concern/interest.

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


    Awaiting action by the Governor:

    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; b) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; and c) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

    Passed the Senate 50-0. Amended and approved by the House 95-3. Approved by the Senate 48-1.

    SF 2261 (formerly SF 2100) - School Mental Health via Telehealth (F) - The bill would allow behavioural 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. Passed by the Senate 50-0.

    HF 684 - Alcohol Overdose Immunity (F) - The bill provides immunity from prosecution for any person who reports an alcohol overdose emergency, especially those who are under the legal drinking age.).

    Passed the House 95-3.  Amended and approved by the Senate 47-2. Approved by the House 96-1.


    Not approved by both chambers of the Legislature:

    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 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

    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 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 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 subcommittee

    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 needs 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. On Senate debate calendar


  • 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


  • 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.


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