Supplemental Funding for Schools – A supplemental funding for schools was passed last week. This is one-time funding that will come out of this fiscal year’s ending balance. This is intended to cover additional costs incurred by districts this school year that offered in person learning.
Supplemental Funding for Technology – Another supplemental amount that will come out of the ending balance was passed this week to purchase a new computer/IT system for managing most fiscal and human resources records of state government. The current system is old and housed in the basement of a building that has flooded twice and experienced a fire. It is also based on computer technology developed in the 60’s and no one is trained on it anymore. The new system will be cloud-based and cost half the amount to maintain.
Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program: This bill allows OB-GYNS’s to participate, allows for additional practice options for participants, and allows psychiatrists to practice in more Iowa communities. In this already established program, participants receive state assistance to repay their medical school loans in exchange for practicing in rural Iowa communities.
Iowans in Medical School – This bill requires the University of Iowa medical and dental schools to have 75% of their admitted students be from the state of Iowa.
Iowans in Medical Residencies – This bill requires the University of Iowa Hospitals to prioritize for medical residencies students with an Iowa connection in the top 7 most needed medical specialties in Iowa, including OB/GYN and psychiatry. The reason: if a medical student or resident is from Iowa and completes their training in Iowa while in their 20’s and 30’s, they will more likely stay in Iowa.
Pledge of Allegiance: Requires schools to offer the Pledge of Allegiance for students, specified exemptions allowed.
Pyramid Promotional Schemes: Prohibition on pyramid promotional schemes-defined to distinguish between ethical and unethical multi-level marketing businesses.
Minor Driver’s License: This allows a special minors driver’s license for farm/agricultural purposes that applies to children of farmers and under 16-years-of-age employees of farms. This only applies between the hours of 5 am to 10 pm.
Audio-Only Telehealth: This bill allows health care professionals to use the phone with their patients as long as it is clinically appropriate and the patient has first been offered the opportunity to receive their health care service in-person or through video telehealth.
Sexual Abuse 2nd & 3rd Degree – This bill raises the age of a victim of this crime who is considered a child from 12 to 14.
Emergency Contact Information – This bill allows people to provide emergency contact information when applying for or renewing their driver’s license. This information can be used by the DOT or law enforcement if a person dies, is seriously injured or is unconscious so that the family can be contacted.
“Lemonade Stand” Bill – A county or a city cannot require a business operated by a minor to get a permit or pay a fee.
Synthetic Urine Ban – This bill bans the use of synthetic urine, urine additives, or the use of another’s urine to pass a drug or alcohol test.
Federal Campaign Signs – Candidates for federal office have to abide by the same rules as candidates for state office.
Multi-Residential Classification – This property tax class is eliminated and those properties will now be considered residential.
National Guard bill: Allows the National Guard to impose non-judicial punishment (military disciplinary action) for guardsmen’s behavior and action that occurs off duty when there’s a connection between the offense and military duty; Also allows the National Guard to target scholarship monies to recruit and retain soldiers and airmen in high demand STEM military occupations.
Freedom of Speech and Press – Allows an early out from a lawsuit filed with the purpose of silencing and intimidating the defendant from engaging in constitutionally protected activities.
Ames School District Leaders Will Testify on Black Lives Matter Curriculum
Ames Community School District leaders, including the Superintendent Dr. Jenny Risner and Director of Equity Dr. Anthony Jones, have been invited to discuss the school district’s controversial curriculum presented during Black Lives Matter (BLM) at School Week of Action which occurred Feb. 1-5. They will appear before the House Government Oversight Committee on Feb. 23.
The Ames school district gained national attention for its required week-long curriculum. Local parents, students and residents contacted Republican legislators regarding their fear that any publicly expressed questions or concerns to the curriculum would result in the child being targeted and charges of racism being made. Parents are further concerned about political and cultural indoctrination into the values BLM organizers and demonstrators espouse such as Marxism, violence to achieve their goals, and defunding the police.
The school district’s website contains links to information which will likely be discussed during the committee hearing: https://www.ames.k12.ia.us/2021/01/black-lives-matter-at-school-week-of-action-february-1-5-2021/
Among those links is following information:
- The Black Lives Matter at School Guiding Principles are 13 principles describing the BLM movement. Each principle is displayed on the website including one which says “We are committed to disrupting the Western prescribed nuclear family structure…” This commitment to the destruction of the traditional family is destructive itself. Granted, some families do have issues, but studies have shown and there is no question that the traditional nuclear family structure is the best for instilling security, moral values, strong character, sound mental, emotional, and physical health, higher levels of income, and high levels of education in children. Studies also show that children in traditional nuclear families are much less likely to commit crime, become pregnant out of wedlock, abuse drugs and alcohol, or become involved in any number of social ills. Slandering the traditional family to minorities actually discourages them from doing those things that set them up for success.
- Another of the 13 Black Lives Matter at School Guiding Principles is teaching students about “trans-affirming” and “queer-affirming” behaviors? What does this have to do with Black History Month? According to this curriculum “everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else, and no one else gets to choose for them.” This position preys upon emotionally distressed and confused children and directly contradicts what science and biology have shown us, misleading them toward a lifetime of physical and mental issues.
- The Black Lives Matter at School National 2020 Voter Toolkit, also featured on the school website, includes overt left-wing political messages such as defining Voter ID requirements as part of “the long history of voter suppression in this country.”
- The National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action Starter Kit contains information detailing BLM’s national demands. Those demands include strategies on how to infuse BLM’s 13 guiding principles into math and science curriculum. For example, the Starter Kit suggests that math teachers “use numbers and maps to look at the impacts of housing discrimination, low minimum wage, and the school to prison pipeline.”
Ames parents are asking, did the Ames School offer any similar curriculum to educate students on the opposing viewpoints?
One parent wrote me and said, “The broad focus of this curriculum seems to actually dilute the purpose of Black History Month….this curriculum seems to move from education to activism on a number of issues. These statements go far beyond what is appropriate for a public school to address as a matter of values and morality. This quite frankly is not the role of our schools…it is the role of the family unit and parents.
Is what Ames Schools are doing education or indoctrination? An educator’s role is to teach students about political movements, not indoctrinate students into political movements.
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