Update: Reynolds Signs Bill Changing Iowa’s Statewide Assessment Developer

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bipartisan bill rejecting the Iowa Department of Education’s choice for a statewide assessment in favor of one developed by the University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Program.

Twenty-One Iowa Legislators to Retire in 2018

Twenty-one Iowa Legislators have decided not to run for reelection in 2018. The Iowa House will have 16 members retire after this session. Twelve Republicans and four Democrats will leave the House. The Iowa Senate Republicans will have two retirements and Democrats will see three.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act Advances in Iowa Senate

Iowa’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) survived the first funnel week of the 2018 legislative session. SSB 3171, sponsored by State Senator Julian Garrett (R-Indianola) was passed out of the Iowa Senate Local Government Committee by a 7 to 4 vote.

McCoy Wants Independent Private Instruction Parents to Notify Schools

State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) introduced a bill into the Iowa Senate that would require parents who homeschool under independent private instruction (IPI) to submit a written notice to their local school districts by September 1st of their intent to do so.

K-12 Education Bills of Note Before Iowa Legislature Early in 2018

Shane Vander Hart provides a round-up of K-12 education bills of note that are before the Iowa House and Iowa Senate Education Committees after the first week of the 2018 session of the 87th Iowa General Assembly.

The Des Moines Register’s Obsession With Homeschooling Crops Up Again

Shane Vander Hart: Since it is the start of a new legislative session, The Des Moines Register takes yet another shot at homeschooling in 2018.

The Des Moines Register Push Polls Anti-Homeschooling Narrative

The Des Moines Register followed up years of anti-homeschooling coverage with a push poll that supports the change in Iowa’s law they advocated for.

Caffeinated Thoughts Radio 3-25-17 (Jenna Ellis)

Shane Vander Hart and Brian Myers discuss Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Senate confirmation hearing with Dr. Jenna Ellis from Colorado Christian University.

McCoy Mocks Chapman’s Mormon Faith During Iowa Senate Floor Debate

State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) found opportunity to mock State Senator Jake Chapman’s (R-Adel) faith during debate over legalizing fireworks.

The Iowa Senate Votes to Defund Abortion Providers

The Iowa Senate passed SF 2, a bill that reallocates state taxpayer money away from abortion providers, by a party-line 30 to 20 vote.

Matt McCoy’s Questionable Disclosure of a DHS Confidential Briefing

Did State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) cross the line in his disclosure to The Des Moines Register of his DHS briefing about the Natalie Finn case?

Homeschooling Is Not a Risk Factor for Child Abuse

Homeschooling was never listed as a risk factor by the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities nor was it even mentioned in the report.

Matt McCoy Wants School Districts to Check-in on Homeschoolers

In response to Natalie Finn’s death State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) proposes that school districts physically check-in on homeschoolers quarterly.

Paulsen’s Gas Tax Hike Albatross

Speaker of the Iowa House Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) has much to explain to his caucus and Iowans for actions he took to push a gas tax increase on Iowans.

Caffeinated Thoughts Radio 1-17-15

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) joins Shane Vander Hart and Brian Myers to discuss the Iowa Freedom Summit, Speaker John Boehner and this new Congress.

McCoy Files Bill Targeting Sexual Orientation Therapy for Minors

Bill filed in Iowa Senate, if passed, subjects licensed mental health professionals to discipline for trying to change the sexual orientation of minors.