Welcome to the first update in 2022 on Iowa’s education-related legislation priorities and movement.
Similar to prior years, the governor would like to see more “student choice” in terms of attending either public or private schools and redirecting public funds to support private schools. In addition, there is concern about teacher retention and recruitment throughout the state. The emphasis of ideas at this point seems to be on lowering requirements, removing testing during teacher preparation, and one-time bonuses. The governor would also like to see “grow your own” teacher programs created throughout the state.
Teacher Retention & Recruitment
he governor proposed a $1000 retention bonus in order to retain teachers through the pandemic. Teachers who commit to teaching in the following academic year would receive a one-time stipend. In addition, the governor would like to see an apprenticeship program created to attract teachers and paraeducators.
Private School Scholarships
The governor would like to see an expansion of private school scholarships and the establishment of a mechanism for a portion of the per pupil budget dollars from public schools to be reallocated to private schools.
The proposed budget increase for public school funding is 2.5%. However, 4% is needed to keep current funding levels steady given inflation. The vast majority of the increase will be allocated to K-12 schools at about 154 million if the proposed rate stays at 2.5% with 5 million to be allocated to community colleges.
Bills Currently Under Review and Moving Forward
Iowa Teach Scholarship Eligibility Requirements HSB 519
This bill expands eligibility for students to qualify for the Iowa Teach Scholarship program. Students must be in the top 50% of their teaching preparation class versus 25% and the bill omits requirements for discipline-specific preparation opening up eligibility to all preservice teachers.
Elimination of Teacher Prep Assessments HSB 520
As amended, this bill would eliminate the need for state-required subject assessments before the completion of teacher preparation to be nationally recognized. A subject-specific performance assessment is still required with a focus on student learning at the end of teacher preparation programs. If passed, teacher preparation programs could administer a valid and reliable subject-specific performance assessment that are not nationally recognized. A prior requirement of teacher preparation programs to report pass rates related to these assessments is also removed.