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2019 IA H 273
Author: Mascher
Version: Introduced
Version Date: 02/06/2019

House File 273 - Introduced

HOUSE FILE 273

BY MASCHER

A BILL FOR

An Act expanding the eligibility for the statewide preschool program and including applicability provisions.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

Section 1. Section 135.173A, subsection 4, paragraph p, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

p. One person who is part of a local program implementing the statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children under chapter 256C.

Sec. 2. Section 135.173A, subsection 6, paragraph f, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

f. Make recommendations for improving collaborations between the child care programs involving the department of human services and programs supporting the education and development of young children including but not limited to the federal head start program; the statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children; and the early childhood, at-risk, and other early education programs administered by the department of education.

Sec. 3. Section 256C.1, subsections 1 and 4, Code 2019, are amended to read as follows:

1. “Approved local program” means a school district’s program for four-year-old young children approved by the department of education to provide high quality preschool instruction.

4. “Preschool program” means the statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children created in accordance with this chapter.

Sec. 4. Section 256C.1, Code 2019, is amended by adding the following new subsection:

NEW SUBSECTION. 7. “Young children” means children who are three or four years of age.

Sec. 5. Section 256C.2, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

256C.2 Statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children — purpose.

1. A statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children is established. The purpose of the preschool program is to provide an opportunity for all young children in the state to enter school ready to learn by expanding voluntary access to quality preschool curricula for all children who are three or four years old.

2. The state board shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 17A as necessary to implement the preschool program as provided in this chapter.

Sec. 6. Section 256C.3, subsection 1, paragraphs a and b, Code 2019, are amended to read as follows:

a. A child who is a resident of Iowa and is three or four years of age on or before September 15 of a school year shall be eligible to enroll in the preschool program under this chapter. If such a child is enrolled under this chapter, the child shall be considered to be of compulsory attendance age as provided in section 299.1A, subsection 3.

b. If space and funding are available, including funding from another school district account or fund from which preschool program expenditures are authorized by law, a school district approved to participate in the preschool program may enroll and pay the cost of attendance for a child younger than three years of age or older child in the preschool program than four years of age; however, the child shall not be counted for state funding purposes.

Sec. 7. Section 256C.3, subsection 4, paragraph b, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

b. Subject to implementation of chapter 28E agreements between a school district and community-based providers of services to three-year-old and four-year-old children, a three-year-old or four-year-old child who is enrolled in a child care center or child development home licensed or registered under chapter 237A, or in an existing public or private preschool program, shall be eligible for services provided by the school district’s local preschool program.

Sec. 8. Section 256C.4, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

2. Eligible student enrollment.

a. To be included as an eligible student in the enrollment count of the preschool programming provided by a school district approved to participate in the preschool program, a child must be three or four years of age by September 15 in the base year and attending the school district’s approved local program.

b. The enrollment count of eligible students shall not include a child who is included in the enrollment count determined under section 257.6 or a child who is served by a program already receiving state or federal funds for the purpose of the provision of three-year-old or four-year-old preschool programming while the child is being served by the program. Such preschool programming includes but is not limited to child development assistance programs provided under chapter 256A, special education programs provided under section 256B.9, school ready children grant programs and other programs provided under chapter 256I, and federal head start programs and the services funded by Tit. I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Sec. 9. Section 298A.2, subsection 2, paragraph a, subparagraph (1), Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

(1) An approved local program under the statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children under chapter 256C.

Sec. 10. Section 298A.2, subsection 2, paragraph c, subparagraph (1), Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

(1) Start-up costs for an approved local program under the statewide preschool program for four-year-old young children under chapter 256C.

Sec. 11. Section 299.1A, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

3. A child who has reached the age of four three by September 15 and who is enrolled in the statewide preschool program under chapter 256C shall be considered to be of compulsory attendance age unless the parent or guardian of the child submits written notice to the school district implementing the program of the parent’s or guardian’s intent to remove the child from enrollment in the preschool program.

Sec. 12. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to school budget years beginning on or after July 1, 2020.

EXPLANATION

The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.

This bill expands the statewide preschool program for four-year-old children under Code chapter 256C to also include three-year-old children. The program is administered by local school districts subject to rules adopted by the state board of education and receives funding through the school aid formula.

References to four-year-old children in the program named in Code chapter 256C and in related Code provisions are changed to “young children” or expanded to also refer to three-year-old children.

The bill applies to school budget years beginning on or after July 1, 2020.


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