DES MOINES, IOWA — Iowa House Education committee began assigning bills on Tuesday that could remold public education in Iowa.
The governor’s school choice bill is going through the new Iowa House Education Reform committee, but the regular education committee will see a lot of the legislation relating to school districts.
Two bills were assigned to subcommittee on Tuesday marking the beginning of the process. House File 8 and House File 9 take aim at what is taught to younger grades about the LGBTQ community; and prohibit students from using their gender identity unless signed off on by their guardians.
House Republicans said that this is just a way of making sure younger ages aren’t exposed to topics their parents are not comfortable with.
“We are trying to go back and say we are going to let the kids be innocent. We are just going to teach the things we have been teaching for decades and years,” said State Representative Skyler Wheeler, (R) from Orange City, who chairs the House Education committee. “We are not going to get into these topics especially at such a young age.”
Whereas House Democrats argue that the curriculum that is currently being taught in grades K-3rd is just about acceptance, and teaching kids everyone is different. One democrat worries that this legislation, if passed, will lead to kids being kicked out of their homes.
“Well in an ideal world, if you have two caring parents that accept the child for who the child is,” said State Representative Sharon Sue Steckman, (D) from Mason City, who sits on the House Education committee. “But where we are now there are parents that would literally kick their child to the curb, ‘get out of my house’.”
The Iowa Senate introduced bills with the same language on Tuesday.