By: The Iowa Liberty Network

The first self-imposed funnel deadline came on Friday March 3, 2023. This funnel limits what bills will continue to be considered the rest of session, excluding bills coming from Ways and Means or Appropriations committees, Government Oversight bills, or bills sponsored by Majority Leaders.

On average 1000 bills are filed every session. The bills are assigned to committees by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. The committee chairs, which are chosen by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader in the Senate, then are responsible for assigning a subcommittee. The three or five-person subcommittee is then tasked with scheduling a hearing for the bill. The chair of the committee or leadership in the chamber can however prioritize whether a bill even receives a hearing.

Bills that survived the first funnel that reform our Education System:

HF132– A bill regarding social studies curriculum requirements, including teaching the differences between political ideologies and the principles of freedom and democracy that founded the United States. 

HF180– A bill regarding parental notification and consent for a child’s gender identity. 

SF251– A bill limiting administrative costs for school districts.

HF616– A bill limiting spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion at regents institutions.

HF597– A bill limiting access to materials with descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act in school libraries or in programs provided by a school, and developing policies to address selection and reconsideration requirements for school library materials.

HF604– A bill that outlines a teacher’s bill of rights aimed at protecting teachers in the workplace and outlining the policies that would allow for removal of a disruptive student.

HF348– A bill that prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation from being taught in grades K-6.

SF391/SF496– The Governor’s education reform omnibus that prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation for grades K-6, updates required educational standards, requires the formation of  a comprehensive list of materials removed from libraries or schools for being obscene or sexually explicit, and puts in place a 7 day advanced notice for any screening, survey, or physical examination that is meant to assess the student’s mental, emotional , or physical health in addition to the current requirement of written parental consent to conduct or administer, among other provisions.

HF430– A bill amending rules for the Board of Educational Examiners that would add a parent to the board and modify the process for investigating complaints against school employees. 

HF464– A bill removing immunization paperwork requirements for some CPI homeschooled children and removing the cap on students a family who utilizes IPI can teach.

HF569– A bill relating to the enticement and sexual exploitation of minors and the dissemination of obscene material to minors.

HF620– A bill prohibiting disciplinary action by a school district for an employee who uses a legal name for a student and fails to use the students preferred pronouns. 

HF622/SF482– Restricts the use of bathroom and locker room facilities on school grounds by those of the opposite biological sex.

Bills that DIED due to the funnel that would have reformed the Education System:

SF83, SF85, SF81, SF305, HF361, HF362, HF284– Multiple education bills regarding removing gender identity from curriculum through grade 8, eliminating CASEL from school curriculums, civil action against schools violating CRT law, banning obscene materials in schools with penalties applicable, and allowing homeschoolers to utilize the state’s 529 plans for paying for education either failed to receive subcommittees or be heard in the full Education Committees in either chamber for a vote before the funnel.  We felt most of these bills were stronger or provided better protection to parents and children than the ones that passed through the funnel. These could be amended into other bills that are still alive prior to going to the floor of either chamber. If you feel strongly about any of these bills make your voice heard to the Education committee chairs: Senator Ken Rozenboom and Rep. Skyler Wheeler.

 *These are some of the bills we were watching throughout the process but there certainly could have been others that fall into this category. 

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