Alive or dead? An update on Iowa legislation after the first funnel
This week marked a key committee deadline in the Iowa Legislature known as the “funnel.” Most policy bills needed approval by a committee in either the House or Senate to remain eligible for debate this year. This so-called “funnel” deadline helps lawmakers prioritize their work by eliminating from consideration lower-priority proposals or those that lack […]
Conversion therapy is happening underground in Iowa, LGBT advocates say. Some lawmakers are trying to stop it.
When Peter Nunn was 14 years old, his parents found a men’s workout magazine he owned and came to their own conclusions about his sexual orientation. His father decided to take him on a trip away from their home near Atlanta, but declined to tell him where they were going until their layover in St. […]
Bill would end Iowa school districts’ voluntary diversity plans
An Iowa law aimed at desegregating schools by restricting wealthier students from leaving low-income districts may be eliminated in favor of giving more school choice for families. Senate File 119 would eliminate “voluntary diversity” plans that five low-income districts use to restrict higher-earning families from enrolling out students. Schools that qualify for a diversity plan […]
‘We are bare bones’: Iowa school districts plan cuts as lawmakers debate funding
When fights broke out in Kalyn Cody’s middle school math class, he would pick up the phone and call the school office for help. Cody, a former Des Moines school teacher, tried to quell disruptive behavior in his classroom at Goodrell Middle School, but he said he didn’t have enough staff to help maintain the […]
Regents: Let NCAA act on payment to college athletes
A high-profile bill that would allow Iowa college and university athletes to make money from their image advanced in the Iowa Legislature Tuesday, but not before a state lawmaker and a Board of Regents representative gave very different views of the legislation. Keith Saunders, state relations officer for the Board of Regents, which runs the […]
Should LGBT issues be taught in Iowa schools? Some religious advocates say no.
In Iowa classrooms, a wide range of historical figures and moments are taught. But in a packed subcommittee meeting at the Iowa Capitol on Monday, both religious leaders and LGBT advocates argued: How should LGBT issues be taught? House File 2201 would require school districts to notify parents about any classroom instructions regarding gender identity, […]
Iowa bills create restrictions for transgender students playing sports and lessons on LGBT topics
Local LGBT advocacy groups are condemning a pair of bills concerning Iowa schools, saying they would cause harm against a segment of students who may already feel discriminated against. Both bills were introduced in the Iowa House and are sponsored by 13 Republican legislators. House File 2201 would require school districts to notify parents about […]
Lawmaker: Iowa schools should educate on vaccination exemptions
It’s commonplace at the beginning of the school year for students to be sent home with immunization requirement forms, documenting they received their required vaccinations. Those forms may look a little different however, if a new bill passes the Iowa Legislature that requires vaccination exemptions to also go on school documents. House File 2139, introduced […]
Ape Initiative to expand educational outreach, research
The nonprofit research center Ape Initiative in southeast Des Moines plans to expand its educational outreach and research projects and is considering the addition of public trails and riverside resting spots. The internationally rare bonobo research facility is educating Iowa students and international students on topics that are at the heart of the STEM education […]
Iowa legislators differ on school funding, but advocates say it’s still not enough.
Republicans in the Iowa House have proposed increasing supplemental state aid for K-12 schools by 2.5%, while Senate Republicans are proposing a 2.1% increase. Both of those numbers still don’t adequately fund Iowa schools as they face increasing costs however, education advocates said Thursday at the Capitol. Iowa Senate Republicans want to add $76 million […]
Feel wrongly graded because of politics? Some GOP senators want to change that.
Students who feel wrongly graded for an assignment by a college professor or a high school teacher because of the instructor’s political beliefs could get the chance to appeal their grade through a new bill in the Iowa Legislature. Senate File 2057 creates an appeals process for both college and high school students who feel […]
Bill would give teachers more protections if they physically restrain students
Iowa teachers are not only overwhelmed by the amount of violence and disruptions they’re facing in classrooms by students, but they’re also afraid of the financial and workplace repercussions if they respond to it, said state Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton. After speaking with educators and parents across the state amid growing media reports about violence […]