American flag flying with U.S. Capitol in the background.

Congress clears 2nd major coronavirus package; 3rd in the works

BY: - March 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — A second major coronavirus package cleared the U.S. Senate Wednesday and is now headed to President Donald Trump for his signature. The bill passed 90-8, with overwhelming bipartisan support. Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst both voted for the bill. The multibillion-dollar measure aims to slow the spread of a new coronavirus […]

Regents president declares emergency, universities cancel commencement

BY: - March 18, 2020

Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards has declared an emergency at the institutions and has moved to make it easier for employees to take time off during the COVID-19 outbreak. All three state universities have canceled commencement and will only offer courses online for the rest of the spring semester, the schools announced. Many […]

Iowa adds two new positive COVID-19 cases for a total of 16

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa has two more positive cases of COVID-19, both linked to the same Egyptian cruise that is responsible for most of the positive cases in the state. The new positive cases bring the total number to 16 in Iowa.  Both are adults between the ages of 61 and 80; one is from Johnson County and […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds names new Department of Education director

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Ann Lebo, the executive director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, will serve as the new head of the Department of Education, according to a news release. “Ann will be an important partner in preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century,” Reynolds said in a statement. […]

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee discussing proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Education Department on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Ernst joins Democrats in vote to ax DeVos student loan policy

BY: - March 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to overturn a controversial regulation from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her critics say hurts defrauded student loan borrowers. Senate Democrats forced the vote under the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress to overturn federal rules within 60 days after they’re finalized. The U.S. House […]

Coronavirus in Iowa: News roundup

BY: - March 11, 2020

Governor’s office reports 14th Iowa coronavirus case Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office on Wedneday reported a 14th case of coronavirus in the state, just one more than was reported on Tuesday. An additional 21 tests were negative. The newest case is an adult between 61 and 80 years old from Johnson County, who was part of […]

Governor’s workforce diploma proposal meets resistance

BY: - March 5, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposal to pay private companies to help adult Iowans earn high-school diplomas may flunk in the Iowa House. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Gary Mohr, R-Bettendorf, said Thursday during a subcommittee meeting that he wants to strike language creating the “workforce diploma pilot program” out of the governor’s Future Ready Iowa workforce development […]

Iowa colleges cancel all international travel for students amid coronavirus fears

BY: - March 5, 2020

Travel plans for students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa have been halted in light of rising concerns over the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health recommended schools postpone or cancel foreign exchange programs for the next […]

Percentage of Iowans with more than high-school education rises again

BY: - March 5, 2020

The percentage of working-age Iowans with post-secondary education jumped 2.6% last year, the state reported. The new figure of 60.2% compared with the state’s Future Ready Iowa goal of 70% by 2025. The biggest gains were in bachelor’s degrees and certifications in construction trades, Iowa Workforce Development reported. In 2018, 57.6% of Iowans ages 25 […]

Lawmakers pass 2.3% education funding increase

BY: - March 4, 2020

The Iowa Senate and House both approved a bill Wednesday providing a 2.3% increase in supplemental state aid for public schools. Democrats criticized the amount, calling for at least a 3% increase for schools. During a heated debate, Senate Democrats chastised Senate Republicans for failing to meet the deadline to provide school funding to districts […]

Iowa Republicans settle on education funding lower than governor’s proposal

BY: - March 3, 2020

Republican leaders in the Iowa House and Senate have reached an agreement to meet in the middle and increase per-pupil funding for Iowa schools by 2.3%. That’s about $10 million less than Gov. Kim Reynolds pitched at the beginning of the 2020 session. About $85.57 million of new money will go to Iowa schools through […]

Iowa House passes increased fines for texting in a school zone

BY: - March 3, 2020

People who are caught texting and driving in a school zone will face an increased penalty, under a bill moving forward in the Iowa House. Current Iowa law states violators will be fined $30 if they write, send or view a text while driving within 200 feet of a school. House File 2491 proposes doubling […]