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During the 11th week of the legislative session, the Iowa House worked towards farthing education transparency in Iowa’s public schools that works for parents AND teachers. There have been recent concerns regarding inappropriate books in school libraries and left-leaning curriculum in the classroom that have led parents to speak up and demand a greater say in their child’s education. We’ve heard their concerns, and we’re taking action. We passed HF 2499 through the House Appropriations Committee. The Iowa House is working hard to deliver a policy that increases transparency in education for parents AND is workable for our teachers. Transparency will provide accountability to prevent teachers and administrators from using their roles in schools to indoctrinate students into their political thinking. Iowa House Republicans believe that parents matter. And that they deserve to know what their child is being taught in the classroom.

HF 2499, as amended, reads that school districts and teachers are required to post the syllabus, textbooks, related core materials, and a list of instructional materials to an online portal parents can access. Most teachers are already using a platform like Canvas or Google Classroom, and this requirement will be easy to meet. Schools that don’t already have a classroom management software system will have until July 1st, 2023, to get up to speed. House Republicans’ bill, as amended, will allow teachers to update their postings throughout the year, within seven days of using the material, rather than submit all materials twice a year. This change allows flexibility for teachers to provide their students with material on current events and find material that is the most engaging. This bill also requires a catalog of every book in the school library to be available online. A parent can then tell the school if there are any books their child is not allowed to check out. If a district is noncompliant, the school has 14 days to correct the violation. If they fail to do so, a civil penalty will be assessed against the district. The teacher who is not compliant will also be referred to the Board of Educational Examiners for potential sanctions on their license.

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Author: Holly Brink

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