In This Issue
Federal Policy Update
State Legislative Session Outlook
Important Dates

Quick Links

April 15, 2016  

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance regularly monitors policy at the federal, state, and local levels to encourage supportive practices and policies for afterschool at all levels. This bi-weekly publication will keep you up-to-date on the activities of the Iowa legislature, as well as federal legislation, throughout the Iowa legislative session from January 11, 2016 until the scheduled adjournment date of April 19, 2016. We will also provide a final legislative update after the Governor's 30 day signing period has ended. We hope this communication is beneficial to you as you seek to advocate for and support your program at home. 
Federal Policy Update
The U.S. Department of Education today issued a Dear Colleague Letter to states, school districts, schools and education partners on how to maximize federal funds to support and enhance innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for all students.
The letter serves as a resource for decreasing the equity and opportunity gaps for historically underserved students in STEM and gives examples of how federal funds-through formula grant programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act-can support efforts to improve instruction and student outcomes in STEM fields.
State Policy Update
Now that the second funnel has passed, the legislature's attention has turned towards Appropriations bills and looking toward adjournment later this month. Contention on the issues of school funding and water quality have been the two biggest roadblocks to focusing on other spending bills. The legislature recently passed SF 174 and SF 175, which increased school funding by 2.25% and now goes to the Governor to sign.

The House Appropriations Committee has introduced appropriations bills for  Health and Human Services and  Economic Development. More detail on both of these bills can be found in the Legislation section below.

A bill (HF 2413) related to reading proficiency assessments and intensive summer reading programs passed both the House and Senate and now moves to the Governor to sign.

Want to know more about the budget process? This chart outlines it for you. 

House File 2460 - Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. Highlights:
  • Healthy Children and Families programs: $5,593,774
    • Iowa First Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative: $3,381,059
  • Appropriates $50,000 to study the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on children.
  • PROMISE JOBS Program: $10,553,408
  • Eliminates appropriation for statewide Child Care Resource and Referral Program; this program will now be funded using federal funds.
House File 2455 - Economic Development Appropriations bill. Funds the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), Board of Regents (BOR), and Regents institutions. Highlights:
  • Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund: a new appropriation of $1,000,000 to the IEDA for internships in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with eligible Iowa employers.
  • Total amount appropriated to IEDA: $15,116,372 which includes:
    • Economic development appropriation
    • High Quality Jobs Creation Assistance
    • Economic Development Energy Projects
    • Iowa Individual New Jobs Training (NJT) 260E fund
    • Small Business Credit Initiative fund
  • $358,464 for the Offender Reentry Program to provide offenders with employment skills; IWD to partner with Department of Corrections.
Senate File 2196 (successor to Senate Study Bill 3046) and House File 2422 (successor to House File 2119 and House Study Bill 545) Relates to reading and literacy requirements for practitioner preparation programs. Sponsored by Department of Education and passed the Senate 50-0. Sponsored by Representative Staed and passed the House 96-0.

Senate File 2299 (successor to Senate Study Bill 3128) Relates to the Early Childhood Iowa Initiative and modifies an appropriation. Sponsored by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Passed House Appropriations Committee. Placed on unfinished business calendar.

House File 2413 (successor to House File 2229) Provides that a student in kindergarten through grade three who is not reading proficiently must be provided intensive reading instruction by the school district and requires ongoing assessments for progress. Sponsored by Representative Ruff. Passed the House 97-0. Passed the Senate 42-7.
House Study Bill 548 Relates to education funding by extending the period of time for collecting sales tax for deposit in the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund, modifying allocations of state sales and use tax revenue collections, specifying uses for certain funding received from the SAVE fund, creating a district levy reduction fund, and making appropriations. Sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee, referred to subcommittee.
Important Dates
April 19           Target Adjournment Date
100th calendar day of the session and the date per-diem expenses will end.
This update is a bi-weekly publication intended to share information and resources regarding legislative activities, events, and bills related to afterschool issues in Iowa. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Gracie Brandsgard at
or 515-237-0340.