April 18, 2016

Contact your legislators and tell them not to cut AEA funding! ASAP! 

The AEA’s in Iowa provide valuable services to school districts across the state, including special education, professional development, media and technology services.  They also assist local school districts in school improvement efforts.  Iowa school counselors are highly dependent on their AEA representatives to share critical information and communication.  We have been fortunate to have some AEA representatives who have been very dedicated to school counseling and they recognize and understand the need for professional development that is different from other K-12 educators. Please contact your legislators and share your story about how beneficial AEA services have been.  If you do not have a representative from your AEA, please let them know that you need equitable resources.  You can share how folks like Sue Schirmer, Linda Linn, Amy Holst, and others have helped school counselors in developing comprehensive school counseling programs that include all of the necessary components and uses data to show accountability.  Many of Iowa’s school counselors have been fortunate to work with these wonderful folks, in one way or another. We need to tell the legislators our stories.  Sue Schirmer was instrumental in developing and promoting the School Counselor Supplemental Evaluation tool.  She has also organized the School Counselor Leadership Cohort to help school counselors mentor each other.  Dave Ford is working diligently on the Career and College Readiness information.  Many online classes and special PD opportunities have been available because of these AEA folks.  Some parts of the state are not as lucky to have these resources.  Now the legislators are contemplating more budget cuts.  Please contact them TODAY!! 

AEA’S are facing monumental reductions.  Please contact your legislators at this link:  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators  TODAY! Ask them to oppose the additional cuts in AEA funding and restore to better funding. Share specifics on how AEA has benefitted you in being a better school counselor!  The cuts will hurt our students!

Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

·        There appears to be some hope that the 2016 session of the Iowa Legislature may come to an end the week of April 18th.

·        Spending deals have been reached in more than half of the nine budget areas, including economic development and natural resources.

CTE Bill Sails Through The Senate

·        A 39-page updating and revision to Iowa career and technical education (CTE) programs is one step closer to the desk of Governor Branstad.

·        House File 2392 was amended and approved by the Senate 50-0.  Included in the amendment are; 1) a Department of Education status report on the implementation of the CTE revisions; and 2) clarifying that along with setting standards for career information and decision-making system, the Department will establish an approval process for vendor based decision-making systems which districts may use if they choose.

·        The bill now awaits consideration of the Senate changes by the House.

 

Bills of interest:

 

HF 2450 - Human Growth and Development - This bill prohibits a school district from enrolling a pupil in a course of instruction in human growth and development and from facilitating a pupil's attendance at an educational conference or seminar that includes information on human growth and development, unless the pupil's parent or guardian files prior written consent with the appropriate principal.  The bill also requires the board of directors of a school district to annually provide to a parent or guardian of a pupil enrolled in the district information about human growth and development that may be provided to pupils at an educational conference or seminar for which the school district facilitates pupil attendance.

On House debate calendar.

 

HF 2392 (formerly HSB 620) - CTE - This bill relates to academic and career guidance and technical education courses, curriculum, and programs and to programs that involve students learning at a workplace.

Passed the House 96-2. On Senate debate calendar.

HF 2324 (formerly HSB 603) - Computer Classes - This bill calls the establishment of a computer science advisory committee to develop standards for computer applications and programming classes.

Passed the House 96-2.  On Senate debate calendar.

HF 2264 (formerly HF 2101) - Open Enrollment/Bullying - This bill states that if a student's district of residence determines that the student was previously subject to a founded incident of harassment or bullying while attending school in the district of residence, such student may participate in varsity interscholastic athletic contests and athletic competitions immediately upon open enrollment.  The bill was amended in the Senate to make it become effective immediately after being signed into law by the Governor.

Passed the House 95-1.  Amended and approved by the Senate 49-0. Passed by the House 99-0. Signed into law by the Governor.

April 4, 2016

  • 1.       Check out the School Counselor Advocacy Blog for highlights of ISCA and Iowa ACAC Visit the Hill Day.  This is a great professional development day but you also advocate and make an impact on Iowa students in a major way.  Please put it in your goals to attend next year!
  • 2.       It is not too late to let your legislators know that they need to keep fighting for education.   There are still debates going on to adequately fund AEA’s and community colleges and funding for retention of 3rd graders. Please share your stories! 

Budget Questions Remain

 

Leaders in the House and Senate appear to have hit a sizeable roadblock when it comes to agreeing on how to divide up the slightly more than $7 billion state budget.

 

Talks between the leaders of each chamber broke off Thursday with no agreement.

 

Reportedly spending on health and human services, water quality and agriculture lead the list of budget areas in dispute.

 

Bills of interest:

 

HF 2450 - Human Growth and Development - This bill prohibits a school district from enrolling a pupil in a course of instruction in human growth and development and from facilitating a pupil's attendance at an educational conference or seminar that includes information on human growth and development, unless the pupil's parent or guardian files prior written consent with the appropriate principal.  The bill also requires the board of directors of a school district to annually provide to a parent or guardian of a pupil enrolled in the district information about human growth and development that may be provided to pupils at an educational conference or seminar for which the school district facilitates pupil attendance.

On House debate calendar.

 

HF 2392 (formerly HSB 620) - CTE - This bill relates to academic and career guidance and technical education courses, curriculum, and programs and to programs that involve students learning at a workplace.

Passed the House 96-2. On Senate debate calendar.

 

HF 2324 (formerly HSB 603) - Computer Classes - This bill calls the establishment of a computer science advisory committee to develop standards for computer applications and programming classes.

Passed the House 96-2.  On Senate debate calendar.

 

HF 2264 (formerly HF 2101) - Open Enrollment/Bullying - This bill states that if a student's district of residence determines that the student was previously subject to a founded incident of harassment or bullying while attending school in the district of residence, such student may participate in varsity interscholastic athletic contests and athletic competitions immediately upon open enrollment.  The bill was amended in the Senate to make it become effective immediately after being signed into law by the Governor.

Passed the House 95-1.  Amended and approved by the Senate 49-0. Passed by the House 99-0.

February 29, 2016

  • 1.      ISCA’s Visit the Hill Day is rescheduled for Monday, March 7th.  Please contact Joshua D'Amico at jdamico@mtmercy.edu ASAP if you can join us.  It will be a GREAT day.  We hope to see many of you there.
  • 2.      Please contact your legislators this week and ask them to support SF 2204. This bill relates to insurance coverage for the assessment and treatment of eating disorders.  Senator Matt McCoy introduced this important bill.  Please find your legislators here and make contact this week as they will be voting soon.  Share your stories.  Students with eating disorders need proper assessment and treatment.  Find out more about this bill and read a new post on the School Counselor Advocacy Blog written by Ann Christiansen.  She shares her incredible story and more information about SF 2204 and a federal initiative. 
  • 3.      The Education Bill is stalled in the House.  Let your legislators know that they need to adequately fund our schools this year.  The Senate has proposed a 4% increase while the House is at 2%.  Please share your stories! 

ISCA

2-29

Legislative Update

Two ISCA Backed Bills March Forward

 

House File 2264, the ISCA backed bill to make it easier for bullied student athletes to transfer to another district, was approved by the House on a 95 to 1 vote.  The bill has already been assigned a subcommittee in the Senate Education Committee.  That subcommittee is comprised of Senators Rob Hogg, Todd Bowman and Amy Sinclair.

 

Senate File 2217, also backed by ISCA, was approved by that chamber on a 50 to 0 vote.  The bill requires training for teachers to recognize and report human trafficking.  The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  No subcommittee has yet been assigned.

 

Bills of interest:

SF 2217 (formerly SF 2095) - Human Trafficking Education - This bill directs the board of educational examiners to review and approve, in consultation with the department of public health, the Iowa law enforcement academy, and the crime victim assistance division of the department of justice, training curricula on the subject of human trafficking, to be used to train teachers to recognize and report incidents of human trafficking. An individual must complete such training which may be delivered via the internet. The board must verify that a teacher is in compliance with this section prior to renewing the teacher's license.

Passed the Senate 50-0.  Referred to House Judiciary Committee.

 

SF 2195 - Dating Violence Curriculum - This bill provides that the age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development, which each school board must provide, must include instruction regarding dating violence and affirmative, conscious, and voluntary consent to engage in sexual activity.

Passed the Senate 50-0. House Subcommittee, Salmon, Gassman, and Mascher.

 

SF 2161 (formerly SSB 3109) - Child Mental Health - The bill appropriates $300,000 from the general fund of the state to the department of human services for FY 2016-2017 to contract for planning grants for the development and implementation of children's mental health crisis services.

Referred to Appropriations

 

HF 2392 (formerly HSB 620) - CTE - This bill relates to academic and career guidance and technical education courses, curriculum, and programs and to programs that involve students learning at a workplace.

On House debate calendar.

 

HF 2324 (formerly HSB 603) - Computer Classes - This bill adds one unit of high-quality computer science education to the minimum educational program to be offered and taught for grades 9 through 12.

On House debate calendar.

 

HF 2264 (formerly HF 2101) - Open Enrollment/Bullying - This bill states that if a student's district of residence determines that the student was previously subject to a founded incident of harassment or bullying while attending school in the district of residence, such student may participate in varsity interscholastic athletic contests and athletic competitions immediately upon open enrollment.

Passed the House 95-1.  Senate Subcommittee, Hogg, Bowman, and Sinclair.

February 16, 2015

  • 1.      ISCA’s Visit the Hill Day is more than likely going to be rescheduled for Monday, March 7th.  We will be sending an email out in the next day or two with confirmation.  If you can’t attend on this day, but would like to visit the capital, ask our lobbyists when it would be a good time. Last year, a group of us went on St. Patrick’s Day!  Jim, Robert or Pete will set you up and help you talk to the legislators who have significant bills about school counseling issues!! It is a very worthwhile and fun time!!
  • 2.      Hope you all had a very Happy National School Counseling Week!  So much has happened in the last couple of weeks!
  • ·       Congratulations to our new ISCA officers!
  • ·       Congratulations to Emily Wikner, a senior from Cedar Falls High School, who wrote the winning ISCA Scholarship essay about her elementary school counselor, Jeni Barry!  We plan to use the essays that students wrote for advocacy purposes.  What better way for legislators to hear from our students about what school counselors do to help them!    
  • ·       The webinar on Resources for Leveraging the Counselor-Principle Relationship to Impact College & Career Readiness is now available in the Members section of the ISCA website: www.IowaSchoolCounselors.org or the Professionals section of the ICAN website: www.ICANsucceed.org
  • 3.      Continue to build relationships with your legislators.  Invite them to your schools!  Attend forums in your area and speak up on education issues! Remember to use your personal email when corresponding.

The following are bills of interest being discussed in the Iowa Legislation having to do with school counselor issues.  The Career and Tech bill is a critical one for school counselors, and your legislator needs input! 

ISCA

2-15

Legislative Update

 

First Legislative Hurdle Comes This Friday

 

  • ·       The first procedural hurdle of the 2016 Session of the Iowa Legislature takes place at the fall of the gavel this Friday.
  • ·       For bills to remain eligible for consideration during the remainder of the current legislative session, the proposal must be approved by at least one committee in the bill’s chamber of origin.
  • ·       The only exceptions to this rule are bills in the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees.

 

Major Career and Technical Education Bill Introduced

 

  • ·       House Study Bill 620, a 45-page bill setting new rules for career and technical education, was introduced late last week.
  • ·       A subcommittee on this bill is expected for either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.


SF 2095 - Human Trafficking Education - This bill directs the board of educational examiners to review and approve, in consultation with the department of public health, the Iowa law enforcement academy, and the crime victim assistance division of the department of justice, training curricula on the subject of human trafficking, to be used to train teachers to recognize and report incidents of human trafficking. An individual must complete such training which may be delivered via the internet. The board must verify that a teacher is in compliance with this section prior to renewing the teacher's license.

Approved by subcommittee.

 

SF 2161 (formerly SSB 3109) - Child Mental Health- The bill appropriates $300,000 from the general fund of the state to the department of human services for FY 2016-2017 to contract for planning grants for the development and implementation of children's mental health crisis services.

Referred to Appropriations

 

SSB 3097 - Computer Courses - This bill adds one unit of high=quality computer programming and applications education to the minimum educational program to be offered and taught for grades 9 through 12. The bill also provides that the technology education component of the minimum educational program to be offered and taught for grades seven and eight shall include one unit on computer applications and coding. These requirements apply to school years beginning on or after July 1, 2018.

Subcommittee: Quirmbach, Hogg, Schultz

 

SSB 3055 - Exploitation - This bill extends, from five years to 10 years, the time by which actions may be brought for damages for injury suffered as a result of sexual abuse by a counselor, therapist, or school employee or as a result of sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee.

Subcommittee: Petersen, Kinney, Whitver

 

SSB 3046 - Reading Requirements for Practitioners - This bill modifies the reading and literacy requirements for practitioner preparation programs approved by the state board of education.

Subcommittee: Quirmbach, Hart and Behn

 

HF 2070 - Concurrent Enrollment - This bill allows regents universities and accredited private institutions to participate in the concurrent enrollment program administered by the department of education. Currently, the program provides supplementary weighting for
school districts that send their resident high school pupils to a community college for college-level classes.

Referred to Education.

 

HF 2053 - Statewide Assessments and Data Collection - Under the bill, if the state board proposes rules providing for a statewide assessment other than the Iowa assessments, it must submit the proposed rules to the general assembly, and the state board is prohibited from adopting such rules unless specifically authorized by the general assembly and the governor.  The bill requires the department to establish policies for student data collection, and to annually conduct an inventory of and categorize the data collected on students and the purposes for which the data is collected, and report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly by November 1, 2016, and by November 1 each succeeding year.

Subcommittee, Highfill, Hanusa, and Staed.

 

HSB 603 - Computer Classes - This bill adds one unit of high-quality computer science education to the minimum educational program to be offered and taught for grades 9 through 12.

Subcommittee assigned, Forristall, Gaines, and Stanerson.

February 2, 2016

  • 1.     ISCA’s Visit the Hill Day has been cancelled due to the weather.  We will keep you updated on a rescheduled date.
  • 2.       The Advocacy, Advocacy, and More Advocacy Webinar was AWESOME.  Please take some time to listen to ISCA Advocacy Committee members Riley Drake, Matthew Beck, and Sheryl Cline share great information and ideas.  Here is the LINK.
  • ·       Riley shares about the importance of accountability as well as advocacy.  She shares a results report that will guide you and inspire you!
  • ·       Sheryl shares her experiences of using data and the importance of partnering with administration!
  • ·       Matthew talks about understanding the process of advocating for school counselors.  What do we need to do before other tell us what we should do?   Thanking others is a great way to advocate!!
  • 3.       Happy National School Counseling Week!  It is a great week to check in with all of your stakeholders and send them a quick note of appreciation. Check out the Facebook and ISCA website for more ideas.
  • 4.       Continue to build relationships with your legislators.  Invite them to your schools!  Attend forums in your area and speak up on education issues! Remember to use your personal email when corresponding.
  • 5.       Check out the School Counselor Advocacy Effect Blog.  We have had so many great stories from Iowa School Counselors!!

Bills of interest being discussed in the Iowa Legislation:

SSB 3055 - Exploitation - This bill extends, from five years to 10 years, the time by which actions may be brought for damages for injury suffered as a result of sexual abuse by a counselor, therapist, or school employee or as a result of sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee.

Subcommittee: Petersen, Kinney, Whitver

 

SSB 3046 - Reading Requirements for Practitioners - This bill modifies the reading and literacy requirements for practitioner preparation programs approved by the state board of education.

Subcommittee: Quirmbach, Hart and Behn

 

HF 2070 - Concurrent Enrollment - This bill allows regents universities and accredited private institutions to participate in the concurrent enrollment program administered by the department of education. Currently, the program provides supplementary weighting for
school districts that send their resident high school pupils to a community college for college-level classes.

Referred to Education.

 

HF 2053 - Statewide Assessments and Data Collection - Under the bill, if the state board proposes rules providing for a statewide assessment other than the Iowa assessments, it must submit the proposed rules to the general assembly, and the state board is prohibited from adopting such rules unless specifically authorized by the general assembly and the governor.  The bill requires the department to establish policies for student data collection, and to annually conduct an inventory of and categorize the data collected on students and the purposes for which the data is collected, and report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly by November 1, 2016, and by November 1 each succeeding year.

Subcommittee, Highfill, Hanusa, and Staed.

January 25, 2016

Advocacy Alert

Dear ISCA Members,

  • 1.       Last day to sign up for ISCA Visit the Hill Day is January 25th
  • 2.      Join our Advocacy, Advocacy, and More Advocacy Webinar on Thursday, January 28th at 3:30 p.m.  Join ISCA Advocacy Committee members Riley Drake, Matthew Beck, Sheryl Cline and Susan Langan.  We will share ideas for advocacy all year long!
  • 3.      Commit to Caucus on Monday, February 1st!
  • 4.      Celebrate National School Counseling Week during February 1st-5th.  Check out the Facebook and ISCA website for more ideas.
  • 5.      Continue to build relationships with your legislators.  Attend forums in your area and speak up on education issues! Remember to use your personal email when corresponding.
  • 6.      Check out the School Counselor Advocacy Effect Blog.  We have had so many great stories from Iowa School Counselors!!

Bills of interest being discussed in the Iowa Legislation:

SSB 3046 - Reading Requirements for Practitioners - This bill modifies the reading and literacy requirements for practitioner preparation programs approved by the state board of education.

Subcommittee: Quirmbach, Hart, and Behn

 

HF 2070 - Concurrent Enrollment - This bill allows regents universities and accredited private institutions to participate in the concurrent enrollment program administered by the department of education. Currently, the program provides supplementary weighting for school districts that send their resident high school pupils to a community college for college-level classes.

Referred to Education.


HF 2053 - Statewide Assessments and Data Collection - Under the bill, if the state board proposes rules providing for a statewide assessment other than the Iowa assessments, it must submit the proposed rules to the general assembly, and the state board is prohibited from adopting such rules unless specifically authorized by the general assembly and the governor.  The bill requires the department to establish policies for student data collection, and to annually conduct an inventory of and categorize the data collected on students and the purposes for which the data is collected, and report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly by November 1, 2016, and by November 1 each succeeding year.

Subcommittee, Highfill, Hanusa, and Staed.

December 14, 2015

Hello!  I hope this finds everyone doing well and ready to wrap up 2015!   As we think about starting the new year, I wanted to update all of you on important events and information for ISCA members.

The ISCA Advocacy Committee is going strong.  We have over fifty members including graduate students, school counselors, and retired members.  It is important as we enter into our second year with The Capital Group lobbyists that we are also doing the necessary work as an organization. The last legislative session was a rough one for education and this year doesn't look much better.  The following are dates of activities and events that you are welcome and encouraged to join.  We will continue our work with The Capital Group Lobbyists to make sure the voice of ISCA and school counselors are represented and heard with the folks making the decisions.  

1.      ISCA and Iowa ACAC (Association for College Admission Counseling) VISIT THE  HILL Day - Wednesday, February 3rd.  What an appropriate activity to do during National School Counselor's Week!! If you have never attended a Visit the Hill Day, please make every effort to do so this year.  It is a very productive and rewarding day.  The morning sessions will include keynotes from Ryan Wise and Pradeep Kotamraju from the Iowa Department of Education. Other sessions will include topics on school counselor advocacy issues and how they relate to helping ALL Iowa students be successful and prepared for graduation and beyond.  After lunch, we will head to the Capital to meet with the legislators to share our stories and give input on the education issues included in the 2016 legislative agenda. A grant is also available for school counselors to bring students.  We are hoping to have sessions specific to high school students.  Please register here:  Visit the Hill Registration.  

2.      Advocacy Webinar:  We will be hosting an Advocacy Webinar during the week of January 18th. Since VTH Day is during National School Counselor's Week (February 1-5), we will be sharing ideas and activities along with preparation for VTH Day.

3.      If you are an ISEA member, please consider attending the ISEA Legislative Conference on January 8th and 9th at Prairie Meadows Event Center.  This conference is FREE, and ISEA also pays for your hotel if you live further than 70 miles away. It is also a great conference to attend.  Several legislators come on Friday night and share their thoughts about the upcoming session.  Register here:  ISEA Legislative Conference

4.      An opportunity to share feedback on recommendations from the Council on Education Development regarding teacher and administrator evaluation practices and professional development is open until December 18th.  Please take a few minutes to check out the recommendations and share your feedback at this link.  If you have not checked out the 2015 Evaluation Supplement for School Counselors, please see the link on the ISCA website: Evaluation Supplement for School Counselors.  When I filled out the survey, I repeatedly shared that school counselors would benefit from using the supplement in their evaluations.  

Thank you all so much for everything you do as school counselors!  Have a great break and get fired up for 2016!!

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