The Iowa Association of School Boards has lobbied against some bills related to controversial issues this legislative session.
In addition to lobbying against requiring people to use the bathroom in Iowa schools based on their biological sex, the Iowa Association of School Boards also lobbied against a bill that would prohibit using The New York Times’ 1619 Project as history curriculum and a bill that would require moms and dads to opt-in for any teaching of gender identity in elementary schools.
In both of those cases, the lobbyists — Phil Jeneary and Emily Piper — argued that the legislature should not be involved in setting laws as to what can and cannot be taught and what curriculum can and cannot be used.
“I think that’s a very dangerous precedent,” Piper said of the 1619 Project bill. “We have locally elected school board members who are the ones that are responsible for making those decisions and we encourage those decisions to be left there.”
And Jeneary echoed similar sentiments during today’s subcommittee on parental opt-in for gender identity instruction for elementary students.
“Schools shouldn’t be at the whim of the legislature to either start or stop education based on whims of the legislature, because the legislature can change and it’s a dangerous precedent to start going down the road of what schools can and cannot teach based on a specific legislature and also putting requirements on what type of education that our students can receive,” Jeneary said. “We don’t want the legislature dictating what can and cannot be taught because that doesn’t benefit all students.”
But is this “standard” being applied equally across the board?
At least not yet.
House File 376 is a bill that would require schools to teach certain subjects. It would require that histories, contributions and perspectives of Native Americans, people of African or Asian or Pacific Islander or Hispanic or Latino or Middle Eastern heritage, women, persons with disabilities, immigrants or refugees and people who are or identify as LGBT be included in history, geography, economics, civics and government.
In addition, the bill provides instruction in human growth and development include instruction of inclusive LGBT health practices for students in grades 1-12.
So, clearly, this bill tells schools what they must teach. Clearly, this bill supersedes “local control.”
But do you know what organization hasn’t registered at all on this bill?
The Iowa Association of School Boards.
Weird how that works.