The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would lessen the penalties imposed under new lead testing requirements Iowa families will face this fall. A new law passed last year requires lead testing for children enrolling in school.
Now the senate has voted unanimously to allow enrollment as long as parents agree to comply as soon as possible. Fairfield Democrat Becky Schmitz says keeping kids out of school seemed unwise. "We did not want to bar students from enrollment in order to get the screenings. We felt it would hurt the most disadvantaged students whose needs are great to be in school," Schmitz said.
The original law allowed provisional enrollment and gave parents 60 days to comply. Schmitz says the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health will cooperate to determine who has – and has not – been screened.
"There’s a still a strong commitment from all parties to do these screenings," Schmitz says, "we just didn’t want students removed from school during the process." The new bill also gives schools more time to notify parents of the new requirement. Schools will also have more time to let parents know about another new requirement, dental screenings for kids.