Meeting Public Comments

Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to a teacher’s filing of a written resignation with the board of directors of a school district.(See HF 2148.)
Subcommittee members: Gobble-CH, Ehlert, Sorensen
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Location: RM 102, Sup. Ct. Consult
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Margaret Buckton [Urban Education Network and Rural School Advocates of Iowa]
The Rural School Advocates of Iowa and the Urban Education Network are both registered opposed to this bill, which effectively makes June 30 the last day for teachers to notify districts of resignation. Currently the deadline is no later than 21 days from receiving the contract, which many teachers respect. There are a few that don't return the contract timely, and that is problematic. With the current teacher shortage, and anticipation of that worsening, districts are starting the hiring process earlier than ever. Staffing decisions, especially at the middle and high school levels, are based on the number of students requiring or requesting certain courses and matching the credentialed teacher with that studentdriven need. If schools find out on June 30 that their math or science teacher (or special education, music, art, or even 3rd grade) is not returning, a scramble would begin to initiate a hiring process, conduct interviews (if you get any applicants in the summer), make an offer and do a background check which can take 46 weeks to get fingerprint results back from the FBI. The option for districts is likely to being the year with a longterm substitute, who most likely doesn't have the content knowledge or experience ideally suited to current students' needs. The other domino effect is the disruption for other staff who may have to fill in for their colleagues as we also have a substitute shortage. In large school districts, there are all kinds of moving parts that have to be reworked if a key position is lost and not replaced late in the game, including changing schedules for students. In rural districts, it may require students shifting to an online course in order to meet graduation requirements, which isn't ideal for all students as in person learning is prefered. Some school districts are even using federal pandemic funds as retention rewards to encourage teachers to return their contracts earlier, which indicates the importance of this timing. This bill moves Iowa in the wrong direction.