Meeting Public Comments
Meeting informations are as follows:
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: RM 102, Sup. Ct. Consult
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.Comments Submitted:
Diane Duncan-Goldsmith 
My husband and I raised our three daughters in Iowa's public schools and they all attended Iowa State University. Unfortunately SF 496, the Governors Education Reform bill seems to be targeting teachers and staff of Iowa's public schools instead of providing the needed resources our public schools and teachers need. I have many concerns with this bill. This legislation removes control from locally elected school boards, why? Members of local school boards are elected to represent the interests of their community. SF496 would micromanage, control and even prohibit teaching certain topics and issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation. The bill removes HPV and HIV from human growth and development curriculum, why? Who will be in charge of determining which materials are age appropriate? I believe this is already the job of certified, licensed teachers. Will the age appropriate definition be so narrow to ban or restrict classic literature? Improvements have been made to some provisions in the bill. However, the legislation seems to ignore the dynamic and ever changing nature of teaching. Iowa public school teachers need resources and flexibility in order to provide exceptional educational opportunities for our students. The bills goal seems to be to control curriculum and reading lists limiting what can be taught or discussed in class. This will only create Iowa students who will not be prepared to be productive, informed citizens in a diverse, global world. Teachers need more resources, not more red tape which limits their ability to teach.Therefore, please VOTE NO on SF 496, the Governors Education Reform bill. Thank you for your time!
Judith Pfohl 
Vote No on restricting trained librarians from our schools. Special training is needed for a Driver's license, to be a dentist, or to be a police officer. Research over the years shows the more we know the better we are at making decisions as we grow. Parents should not be expected to know everything and should defer to the experts. My son had a wonderful public education in Iowa that has allowed him to create a software company and be comfortable talking to people all over the country in all walks of life and from all backgrounds. Iowa used to be known for great education before all the restrictions and loss of financial support to public schools.Please vote no on any restrictions to educational information by trained staff.
Cynthia Newton 
This bill is nothing but an attack on public education, students, and a large majority of parents and the choices they will no longer be able to make for their own children. Please vote no on this bill. Concerned parents, teacher and advocate.
Sara Parris [Annie's Foundation]
This bill is problematic on so many levels.1. Why lessen the licensing regulations for librarians? These are educated people with advanced degrees who have dedicated their lives to helping children have access to appropriate reading material. Actually, I have a few guesses as to why you don't want educated, licensed professionals in our libraries. None of them reflect positively on you, the legislative body. 2. I'm scratching my head at the desire to remove instruction on the availability of an HPV vaccine and AIDs education. You do realize that the HPV vaccine can prevent certain types of cancer, right? Why wouldn't you want students to know this is an option? If you don't want the vaccine, fine, but let that be an informed decision. And someday these kids will be autonomous adults who can decide to get the vaccine regardless of if their parents supported it, so why not arm them with the facts? You do realize that this will lead to an increase in cancer rates, right?3. Finally, book banning. Let's call it what it is. You are restricting access to books that children previously had access to. That is a ban. Who, pray tell, has the honor and privilege of deciding what descriptions of sex acts constitute a ban? The party in charge seems to have a pretty prudish definition that is not in line with the rest of the public's. I'm pretty sure the bible would not pass muster. Do you consider the briefest mention of sexual orientation to meet the definition? Who decides? Of course, I don't expect you to attempt to defend this, and I suspect that the vagueness is the point. Throw a vague regulation out there and threaten violators with termination and loss of license and all that will be left in libraries are copies of the propagandist Tuttle Twins books because no one wants to risk losing their livelihood. Just know that we see through you. You are afraid of books that challenge your narrowminded worldview. You are afraid that children will be exposed to new ideas and maybe realize that their parents hold some racist, bigoted values. You don't want to hear the stories of people with lived experiences unlike yours. And you mask your ignorance and hate under the guise of your supposedly Christian faith and desire to help children. As long as those children are also white, straight, cis Christians. Shame on all of you.
Andrea McIlwee 
I am a firm believer in local control. Every county, every community, every school district has unique qualities, which is why the makeup of our school boards varies so much. We cannot allow state level control of what is available for students to access in our schools. Community standards are applied for a reason. It is difficult for me to understand who will define "age appropriate" if this bill passes. Currently, highly educated and trained educators and librarians determine (using their expertise and recommendations from publishers and the ALA) what materials are suitable for each age group. Please vote no on this bill.
Nicole Stiles [Personal]
Iowa legislators like to campaign on supporting teachers then turn around and pass bills that undermine teachers, insinuate that they're "groomers" because they provide equal protection, respect and opportunity to all of their students and make their jobs harder be threatening their teaching licenses their livelihoods if they call a student by a preferred pronoun. Reynolds brags about a budget surplus and instead of funding public schools, giving teachers the resources they need and ensuring all students have access to educational opportunities, our legislators use that money to fund private education and waste time banning books and ostracizing LGBTQIAP+ people. Bills like this are ruining the future of Iowa. Companies don't want to operate in states that are known to violate civil rights laws in both the state and federal constitutions. Young people are already planning to take their talents elsewhere; I've heard many students in high school say as much they cannot wait to leave this state because of this bill and others like it. This includes my own children. These bills make them feel like they're not welcome in Iowa. Don't let Iowa be known as a state full of hateful, backwards people. This is not how we demonstrate "Iowa Nice".
Denise Perez 
I am registering my opposition to SF496. This bill is full of nonsense that will only weaken and destroy public education. Parental rights is code for white supremacy & christian ideology. The GOP is following the facist playbook & like history has taught us, it is a losing ideology. You will all get voted out & your legacy will be a stain on Iowa's history.Like many fascist regimes, the Stalinists in Russia knew that they couldnt control the people until they controlled the schools.At around the same time, Musselinis fascist government in Italy was following Stalins playbook by creating a centralized, statecontrolled school system that tightly supervised teachers. All schools taught a statemandated, propagandistic curriculum that espoused nationalistic and militaristic values.Silencing teachers, silencing the educated, controlling the curriculum, and controlling schools are are key components of the fascist playbook.https://medium.com/ageofawareness/attackingteachersandbanningbooksisthepointpartia7eb156859ad