These are some bills that I drafted that made it out of full committee this week:
Senate File 2028: Parental Consent Concerning Vaccinations
There is nothing specifically in Iowa Code stopping minors from receiving vaccinations without parental consent. That is why I introduced Senate File 2028, which would require documented parental consent prior to receiving any vaccination.
Senate File 89: Cursive Writing in Public Schools
This bill requires cursive writing to be taught in public elementary schools. There’s a multitude of reasons for sponsoring such a bill, all to the benefit of the students, but I’ll only list a few:
- Cursive writing fosters the development of a portion of the brain that enhances a student’s potential to learn and remember information.
- It also improves brain development in areas of thinking and language.
- Lastly, cursive writing has been shown to increase comprehension and participation in students.
Senate File 2107: Technology Impact on Cognitive Learning Working Group
Understanding the effects of technology on early childhood cognitive development is of enormous importance. This legislation creates a working group to study the impact of technology on cognitive learning and academic performance in pre-kindergarten to 6th graders. This bill is a step in the right direction on negating the longer-term impacts of technology on our children. Currently, the Mayo Clinic only recommends an hour of screen time per day for children up to five. At the same time, the Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents of children between five and eighteen place consistent limits on technology use. In today’s age, children are on their computers throughout the day in schools, at home, when around their peers, they’re everywhere. We must gain some real understanding of what technology is doing to our children’s mental health, attention span, capacity to learn, and socialization.
Senate File 2112: Achievement Gap Working Group
I have researched and am quite concerned by the proficiency score achievement gap in our schools. I drafted this bill to create an achievement gap working group. In the amendment of this bill, our subcommittee decided to narrow the bill’s specifics to find a solution to the differences in proficiency among students of differing racial/ethnic backgrounds. Regarding language arts proficiency, a third of African-Americans near graduation are proficient. At the same time, nearly half of all Hispanic students are proficient. In mathematics, not even a third of African-American students reach proficient levels, while fifty-five percent of Hispanic students aren’t proficient in math. Those statistics tell us that our education system must come up with some answers to address these gaps with far-reaching, generational, and economic implications.