House File 477 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1requiring the director of the department of education to
2establish a low-income student and poverty weighting work
3group.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  POVERTY WEIGHTING WORK GROUP.
   21.  In recognition of the supplemental assistance for
3high-need schools under section 284.11 originally enacted for
4the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, and in preparation
5for the school finance formula review committee scheduled to
6meet during the 2024 legislative interim to review provisions
7of Iowa’s school foundation formula, it is the intent of the
8general assembly that a work group be convened by the Iowa
9department of education to consider what learning gaps are
10evident in Iowa based on socioeconomic status, identify what
11promising practices are occurring in Iowa and other states to
12minimize these learning gaps, and review the funding provided
13in other states for the instruction of children from low-income
14families. Since significant levels of poverty exist in all
15ninety-nine counties of this state, the general assembly should
16consider additional ways to close the opportunity gap through
17the school funding formula.
   182.  According to the 2022 condition of education annual
19report, forty and seven-tenths percent of Iowa public school
20students are eligible for free and reduced price meals under
21the federal National School Lunch Act and the federal Child
22Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. §1751-1785, the most widely
23used measure of student poverty, including within Iowa’s
24methodology for funding at-risk programs.
   253.  The school finance formula review committee established
26under section 257.1, subsection 4, met on December 13, 2019,
27and recommended to the general assembly the creation of a
28poverty weighting study committee.
   294.  The director of the department of education shall
30establish and appoint members to a work group to examine the
31impact of student poverty on Iowa students’ success, including
32relative concentration of poverty in school districts and
33alternative methodologies demonstrated to provide supports
34necessary to close the opportunity gap, including examination
35of relevant studies and testimony of relevant experts. The
-1-1work group shall also determine if the current methodology
2effectively measures the needs of low-income students and shall
3make recommendations for funding methodologies to provide
4additional funding required for school districts to provide the
5supports necessary to deliver successful outcomes for students
6from low-income households. The department of education shall
7work cooperatively to provide staffing assistance for the work
8group. The work group shall be composed of at least all of the
9following:
   10a.  One member representing the Iowa association of school
11boards.
   12b.  One member representing the area education agencies who
13has expertise in special education services.
   14c.  One member representing the Iowa state education
15association.
   16d.  One member representing the school administrators of
17Iowa.
   18e.  One member representing the urban education network of
19Iowa.
   20f.  One member representing the rural school advocates of
21Iowa.
   22g.  One member representing the professional educators of
23Iowa.
   24h.  One representative of the school district with the
25highest basic enrollment under section 257.6 for the school
26budget year beginning July 1, 2023.
   27i.  One representative of a school district with a basic
28enrollment under section 257.6 for the school budget year
29beginning July 1, 2023, that is ranked in the highest one-third
30among all school districts in the state.
   31j.  One representative of a school district with a basic
32enrollment under section 257.6 for the school budget year
33beginning July 1, 2023, that is ranked in the middle one-third
34among all school districts in the state.
   35k.  One representative of a school district with a basic
-2-1enrollment under section 257.6 for the school budget year
2beginning July 1, 2023, that is ranked in the lowest one-third
3among all school districts in the state.
   4l.  One representative of a school district located in whole
5or in part less than one hundred miles from the eastern border
6of this state.
   7m.  One representative of a school district located in whole
8or in part more than one hundred miles from both the eastern
9border of this state and the western border of this state.
   10n.  One representative of a school district located in whole
11or in part less than one hundred miles from the western border
12of this state.
   13o.  The director of the department of health and human
14services, or the director’s designee.
   15p.  Four ex officio, nonvoting legislative members
16consisting of the following:
   17(1)  Two state senators, one appointed by the majority leader
18of the senate and one appointed by the minority leader of the
19senate.
   20(2)  Two state representatives, one appointed by the speaker
21and one appointed by the minority leader of the house of
22representatives.
   235.  By January 2, 2024, the work group shall submit
24recommendations to the general assembly and the governor for
25new or modified funding methodologies that demonstrate positive
26results for lowering achievement gaps and improving outcomes
27for students from low-income households.
28EXPLANATION
29The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
30the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   31This bill directs the director of the department of
32education to establish and appoint members to a work group to
33examine various topics related to Iowa’s current methodology
34for determining levels of student poverty and funding related
35to students from low-income households. The bill directs
-3-1the department of education to work cooperatively to provide
2staffing assistance for the work group and establishes the
3minimum persons comprising the work group. By January 2, 2024,
4the work group is required to submit recommendations to the
5general assembly and the governor for new or modified funding
6methodologies that demonstrate positive results for lowering
7achievement gaps and improving outcomes for students from
8low-income households.
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