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At 12:14 AM on Wednesday, May 25, the 2022 Legislative Session came to a close. Legislators returned to the Capitol on Monday to pass the final budget agreements and any outstanding policy for the year.

Now, if you’ve been following the Legislature at all this session, you’ve likely heard the debate surrounding the Governor’s Education Savings Account policy proposal. Ultimately, we didn’t have the support in the House to pass that policy. No matter which side of that issue you are on, I believe you will see the benefit of the policy we did pass this week to build upon our record of expanding parental choice in education.

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Eliminating the Deadline for Open Enrollment 

The bill we passed eliminates the March 1st deadline for public school students to open enroll into another public school. With this change, students could apply to leave their school and attend a different public school at any time during the year.

This bill will help provide additional school choice for parents and students who don’t feel like they’re having their voices heard by their school board and administrators.  Under current law, a student must apply to open enroll before March 1st unless they are granted a specific exception.

I’ve heard from many folks concerned with the policies passed in the Linn-Mar School District this spring, the age-innaproriate drag show that took place at Ankeny High School last week, and the BLM curriculum that was used in the Ames School District last year. In all three of those examples, the incidents that caused many parents in that district concern happened after the March 1st open enrollment deadline. Under current law, those kids would be trapped in that school district for the following year unless the opportunity and the means existed for them to send their kid to private school.

The receiving district would still need to have the capacity to accept the student. So for the rural school districts here in House District 50 where some students may want to open enroll to, the district would still need to agree that they are capable of educating that student. And, for those that are curious about the sports aspect, all current laws regarding athletic eligibility remain in place.

With this change, parents will have more flexibility to make the decision that is best for their students. And ultimately that’s what this is all about; the students.

More to Come

We may have concluded our work for the 2022 Legislative Session, but I remain your legislator 365 days a year. During the interim, I’ll continue to keep in touch through this newsletter, though it may be less frequent. Over the next few weeks, I’ll continue to share some of the highlights from this session and update you as the Governor signs the bills we passed into law.

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I always say, the reason I think Iowa House Republicans remain the Majority Party year after year is because we listen to you and deliver on your priorities.  As I said to the legislators in the chamber yesterday, it’s time to return home from Des Moines and receive additional instructions from our bosses – You.

Author: Pat Grassley

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