Iowa State Capitol Rotunda
Photo Credit: Angelo Mercado via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

Two significant education bills passed by their respective subcommittees died in the Iowa House Education Committee without a vote before the first funnel last week.

HF 2317, a bill sponsored by State Representative Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville), would have repealed Iowa’s current science standards. Those standards are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. It also would have prevented the adoption of new social studies standards that are aligned to the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. Then it would have made the Iowa Academic Standards, including the Common Core math and English language arts standards, voluntary for public and accredited non-public schools.

The bill passed in subcommittee Thursday last week with State Representatives Salmon and Skyler Wheeler (R-Orange City) voting to recommend passage and State Representative Art Staed (D-Cedar Rapids) voting against passage.

Iowa House Republicans hold a 14 to 9 advantage on the Education Committee; three to four Republicans blocked the passage of the bill Caffeinated Thoughts was told.

When the majority caucus does not have the votes to bring a bill out of committee they don’t hold a vote. Both Republicans and Democrats do this, and it provides the dissenting members cover because they do not have to go on the record dissenting against a bill that may be popular with their particular party base. It is a practice that needs to stop, and Caffeinated Thoughts is working to identify those state representatives.

Concerned Women for America of Iowa and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition supported this bill. The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines Public Schools, School Administrators of Iowa, Rural School Advocates of Iowa, Urban Education Network of Iowa, Rural Schools Network of Iowa, Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Iowa State Education Association, and Iowa Association of School Boards registered against this bill.

HSB 651, the Iowa Student Opportunities Act, (which Caffeinated Thoughts reported on extensively here and covered in a podcast here) after making it past its subcommittee also died in the House Education Committee last week without a vote. It is possible that the Education Savings Grants aspect of the bill could be introduced as an amendment to an appropriations bill later this session.

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