The Iowa House is debating the education reform bill (HF 215) proposed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.


2/20/13 (10:57 am): Shane again… It isn’t too often that I’ll carry a liveblog over to the next morning, but the bill passed as amended on a 52 to 44 vote.

Governor Branstad gave a statement after the bill passed, “This morning, the Iowa House passed an education reform plan that will set us on a path to again have the nation’s best schools. This plan will give our teachers a new, 21st century system designed to reward their efforts and ensure great teaching in every classroom. Most importantly, this reform means our students will have the skills they need to compete with their peers across the globe.”

11:56 House Dems stopped in time to toe before midnight but Republicans decided not to vote until tomorrow morning. They are adjourned.

11:25p Six legislators waiting to speak. 35 mins. left. 10 min. limit for each speaker.

11:10p Seven or Eight lights left. Let’s do this and go home!

10:57p Chamber is getting louder as amendments previously deferred fail or are ruled not germane and everyone gets punchier…

10:32p Rep. Wood’s amendment fails on voice vote.

10:26p Rep. Wood is having his amendment, H-1040, debated. One thing it does is create a statewide survey of effectiveness of Director and Dept. of Ed.

10:18p Rep. Winckler amendment to create a workgroup of DE and AEAs on implementing Iowa Core in English and Math challenged based on germaneness. Ruled not germane and and Winckler asks to suspend rules. Rules not suspended. Amendment, therefore, dies.

10:09p Sorry for delay in updating. Not many substantive changes made to bill in a while. Still on amendments but now on Democrat amendments that were previously deferred. Apparently, while we were away, House passed by voice vote an amendment (H-1051/H-1043) that pushes assessments. I’m sure Shane will have a post about this soon. 🙂

9:21p There is now a debate over rule making after last year’s Ed reform bill regarding teacher taking praxis test. It’s Winckler vs. Dept. of Ed. Amendment H-1045.

9:13p Preschool amendment ruled not germane. Motion to suspend rules to consider amendment fails. Amendment can now no longer be considered.

9:07p: Rep. Staed speaking to Steckman amendment re: universal preschool.

9:05p: Eric Goranson is going to be taking over for me.

9:02p: Homeschool Drivers’ Education passes on voice vote.

8:56p: Homeschool drivers’ ed amendment is being debated… Hardly any debate on the last amendment which I thought would be more controversial. Perhaps they thought this may pass the Senate where the last amendment won’t?

8:48p: Independent private instruction amendment (removes requirement for homeschooling families to have to file CPI forms to local school districts) passes on a voice vote.

8:45p: Home rule amendment which encourages local control. Adopted on a voice vote.

8:41p: Education Savings Grant amendment dropped by author, Rep. Forristall.

8:26p: There is an amendment to amendment H1043 will allow the Iowa Department of Education to mandate assessments (read Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium). I don’t know if this was pushed for by Jason Glass, but if so it is contrary to what he told me. He said they were not going to push for this until next year.

8:16p: Independent non-public accreditation passes.

8:11p: Independent non-public accreditation is being debated. Rep. Dolecheck is bringing up the amendment. The amendment originally also had parent teacher drivers’ education, but it was divided off. Rep. Steckman says she can support the amendment if they’d drop the funding for non-public schools.

8:09p: the last amendment is HUGE for homeschoolers.

8:04p: Rep. Windschitl moves amendment that would remove assessment requirements for homeschooling. Amendment adopted!

8:01p: After Winckler gives long-winded closing comments her amendment goes down in flames.

7:49p: To be clear the debate is around raising the starting teacher salary to $35,000. The original bill suggests $28,000. Rep. Wood says he supports amendment, but even starting at $35K is not enough.

7:43p: Rep. Jorgensen says he has heard from smaller school districts having starting salary at $35K didn’t work for their funding models.

7:39p: This bill calls for 19 FTEs within the Department of Education. LSA says the average cost for each FTE is $81,000.

7:36p: Rep. Ruff says that a student told her that she won’t teach in Iowa because even starting at $32K is not enough.

7:31p: Excuse me it is Winckler’s amendment. She wants to raise starting to… Who the heck knows? She brought up Massachusetts, but can we consider cost of living? Mascher says bill doesn’t raise teacher pay enough.

7:26p: State Rep Wood suggested raising the raise to $32-45K, but then asks for unanimous consent to withdraw amendment. Rep Winckler is currently reading what the average starting salary in neighboring states.

7:22p: Remember to refresh for updates. Not much happening. Some technical amendments passed, including transportation funding for rural school districts. An amendment is up to address starting base pay for teachers. The suggested starting pay in the bill is $28K.

7:08p: State Rep. Sharon Steckman’s amendment for 4% allowable growth was defeated. An amendment for 2% allowable growth was passed by a unanimous vote.

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