Lawmakers look at restrictions on training dealing with ‘divisive concepts’ in schools

BY: - March 1, 2021

Public schools and universities in Iowa would face new restrictions related to staff or student training dealing with racism, sexism and discrimination under a bill that is advancing in both the Iowa House and Senate. House Study Bill 258 is one of several Republican-sponsored bills addressing issues related to racism or freedom of speech being […]

Iowa lawmakers focus on free speech on campuses, social media platforms

BY: - February 26, 2021

The Conservative Political Action Conference began Friday with a session called “Why the Left Hates the Bill of Rights … and We Love It.”  The four-day annual gathering of Republican politicians and activists started Thursday in Orlando, Florida. CPAC’s agenda included five events on free speech, including a Friday speech by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, […]

Chapman: ‘Shameful’ censorship by tech giants should ban them from contracts, aid in Iowa

BY: - February 24, 2021

Legislation that would ban state and local government contracts or aid for tech companies that censor online content could endanger economic development and disrupt operations across universities and school districts, critics told lawmakers Wednesday.  The legislation, Senate File 402, was introduced by Senate President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, and 29 colleagues. It advanced to the full […]

Bill would impose tougher penalties on school officials who violated COVID-19 reopening orders

BY: - February 23, 2021

School officials who violate state laws, including COVID-19 reopening orders, could be subject to stiffer penalties under a bill moving through the Senate. Senate Study Bill 1213 introduces new penalties for superintendents and school board members who violate Iowa’s educational laws. School board members may be removed for “knowingly or intentionally violating” Iowa law. Superintendents […]


Is there still value in teaching ethics?

BY: - February 20, 2021

Each day we hear about fake news, far-out conspiracies and Facebook claims  — a media menu based on affirmation rather than information. Small wonder some people believe ethics classes are useless. Every era thinks its moral failures are epic. We might revisit this argument as we navigate the new year with resolutions and reservations. The […]

House passes COVID-19 funding for schools based on in-person learning days

BY: - February 18, 2021

A bill approved Thursday in the Iowa House would allocate an additional $27.2 million to school districts based on how many days of in-person learning they offered. Under House File 532, school districts would look back on the 2020-2021 school year and count how many days students could attend in person. Then, funding would be […]

Senate and House agree: 2.4% increase in school funding for next year

BY: - February 17, 2021

State supplemental aid for Iowa schools will grow by 2.4% for the 2021-2022 school year under a bill passed by the House and the Senate. The House passed its version of the school funding bill Feb. 11. The Senate, which had approved a 2.2% increase on Feb. 9, voted Wednesday in favor of the House […]

Parents would need to consent to gender identity curriculum under Senate bill

BY: - February 16, 2021

Parents would need to provide written consent for elementary school students to discuss gender identity at school under a bill moving through the Iowa Senate. Senate File 167 would prohibit Iowa elementary schools from teaching about gender identity, defined as the “gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth,” without […]

Bill would give $30 million to schools that stayed open during COVID-19

BY: - February 15, 2021

A bill moving through Iowa’s House would provide an additional $30 million to Iowa schools based on how much in-person learning they offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under orders from Gov. Kim Reynolds, schools in Iowa had three options to reopen in the fall: Open full-time and in-person; offer a hybrid model that allowed for […]


Time for Iowa lawmakers to stop using legislation to target political foes

BY: - February 15, 2021

Newly elected baby legislators often go through a phase of trying to use their legislative powers to nurse their post-election grudges. They file bills hoping to criminalize lying on the campaign trail and suggesting draconian penalties for the theft of campaign signs. It’s kind of cute. Eventually, they work that out of their system and […]

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

BY: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released updated guidance to provide educators a science-based plan for reopening K-12 schools. The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet are key to mitigating the […]

House passes $36.5 million increase for Iowa schools

BY: - February 11, 2021

The Iowa House passed a school funding bill Thursday night that would increase state supplemental aid by 2.4% and provide more funding for school transportation. Rep. Cecil Dolecheck, R-Mount Ayr, said the bill would allocate an additional $36.5 million to schools in the 2021-2022 academic year. The bill contributes an estimated $768,000 to help districts […]