Greetings from Capitol Hill:
House debates this week
On the House floor for action this week House Files 223, 262, 264, 266, 291, 292, 323. This is the first debate of the session, and it saw the passing of 7 bills with overwhelming bipartisan support. The 87th GA passed 88 percent of its legislation with bipartisan support, and we are on our way to seeing more than that this session. We would like to thank our counterparts in the minority for their hard work and continued efforts.
Monday, Feb. 18, The Education Committee received a presentation from the Open Educational Resources alliance of Iowa. The presentation shed light on the issues of college textbook price inflation in the last 20 years. By lowering or diminishing the cost of learning resources, OER hopes to decrease the college dropout rate due to this issue. OER as an alliance of community colleges and state universities in over 15 states around the U.S., is striving to create resources free and accessible online for college students. While still in the budding stages of forming, the progress they have made in the past year promises of a better future for higher education in Iowa.
HSB 136, and HF 17. Wednesday, Feb. 20.
HSB 136 managed by Representative Brink was passed unanimously through the Education Committee. HSB 136 amends the current law to allow schools bussing children to and from school events to carry 10 passengers including the driver (9 occupants + driver). This will greatly assist rural districts and going forward continue to lower transportation costs in school districts throughout Iowa.
HF 17 managed by Representative Moore known as the “Praxis Test bill.” Praxis tests are used to measure the academic skills and subject-specific content knowledge along with the pedagoge of that class of students needed for teaching. A Praxis test is taken by individuals entering the teaching profession in Iowa. In Representative Moore’s remarks on the bill, the Praxis test does not determine the quality of the teacher, only that they can pass the Praxis test.
HF 17 seeks to give quality Iowa teaching graduates a chance at experience through a one year, temporary licenses in their field and second chance at the Praxis Test.