Reynolds signed seven bills centered on education into law Friday, and among them was Senate File 496, which requires that teachers instruct young children with "age-appropriate and research-based human growth and development." Otherwise, school employees are subject to a warning for their first violation followed by a hearing for a second violation. The hearing could result in "disciplinary action" in further instances.
“This legislative session, we secured transformational education reform that puts parents in the driver's seat, eliminates burdensome regulations on public schools, provides flexibility to raise teacher salaries, and empowers teachers to prepare our kids for their future," Reynolds said in a statement.
"Education is the great equalizer and everyone involved — parents, educators, our children — deserves an environment where they can thrive."
The bill passed in a majority vote of 57 to 38, with House Rep. Tracy Ehlert (D), who was absent on the day of the vote, writing afterward that she would have also voted against it. This vote was cast along party lines.
"For all the LGBTQ+ kids and families who feel targeted by the Governor and her allies this session, we see you and we love you," Iowa's Democratic Whip Lindsay James wrote on Twitter. "You deserve the freedom to be yourself and be happy without interference from politicians. We’re going to keep fighting for you."
This comes after Reynolds signed a bill at the beginning of this year establishing the state's first universal school choice program.