Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) released a statement Thursday that makes clear the legislative intent of Senate File 2310.
That legislation aligns with Gov. Kim Reynolds’ action on returning students to school.
Section 15 of SF 2310 states:
“Unless explicitly authorized in a proclamation of a public health disaster emergency issued by the governor pursuant to section 29C.6 and related to COVID-19, a brick-and-mortar school district or accredited nonpublic school shall not take action to provide instruction primarily through remote-learning opportunities.“
As a practice of law, the word “primarily” means 50 percent of more. An Iowa city ordinance that bans people under 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m. includes an exception for restaurants whose primary business purpose is not the sale of alcohol. Primary is defined as 50 percent or more.
Grassley said the legislation is clear and was aimed at getting kids back to school safely.
“Democrats expressed a few concerns at the time, but they were never concerned about the requirement that students return to primarily in-person learning. It received praise from both parties which is why it passed unanimously.
Since then, Democrats have played politics with Iowa’s children and the COVID response by misrepresenting this very straightforward bill and attacking the Governor for something that they all supported and put into law. I am not sure if they failed to read the legislation that they were voting on or if they didn’t understand it at the time. Either way is concerning.
I have full faith and confidence that our schools will do everything they can to keep students and staff safe. They can do so while taking extra precautions and following the law.”