Reynolds suspends graduation requirements for high-school seniors

By Kathie Obradovich
Posted 4/14/20

Gov. Kim Reynolds suspended state graduation requirements for the class of 2020 late Friday, among 42 other emergency actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reynolds’ action suspends laws …

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Reynolds suspends graduation requirements for high-school seniors

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Gov. Kim Reynolds suspended state graduation requirements for the class of 2020 late Friday, among 42 other emergency actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reynolds’ action suspends laws “requiring curriculum standards and completion of specific units of credit for completion of a high school program of study, to the extent such provisions would hinder Iowa school districts in assisting the Iowa high school graduating class of 2020 in completing a course of study during this disaster emergency.”

The order comes as schools are deciding whether or how to try to bring students back this year. The Legislature last month allowed schools to suspend classes until mid-April without penalty. Reynolds later ordered schools to remain closed until April 30 but required them to make up lost time if they did not provide continuous online learning.

Much of Reynolds’ proclamation was aimed at making it easier for health-care facilities to operate amid staffing shortages.

The governor temporarily suspended requirements for criminal background checks for medical staff, as long as the checks are conducted after the emergency period expires. Her order will also allow health-care workers who are licensed elsewhere to work in Iowa without an in-state license, something that business groups have called for as a permanent fixture to help attract medical workers to the state.

The governor temporarily suspended regulations governing adequate staffing levels for nurses, as long as the facility endeavors to remain adequately staffed. She also temporarily suspended building codes for hospitals, which might be needed if hospital facilities are overrun by COVID-19 cases.

Reynolds also temporarily suspended in-person reviews for foster care and in person child protection interviews and on-site inspections of nursing homes and in-person visits with nursing home residents.

And the governor temporarily suspended open-records requirements related to in-person inspections of public records.

Reynolds’ emergency proclamations expire April 30 unless otherwise stated, but she could extend or shorten the emergency period.

The full text of the proclamation is available at Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. 

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