DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Republican-controlled House has passed legislation that would add state oversight to boarding schools in Iowa, though the bill could face future opposition over exemption language.
The House voted 74-24 Wednesday for the bill, which would add state compliance rules for private residential facilities for children. The bill heads to the Democratic-majority Senate, where lawmakers passed similar legislation.
But the House bill would exempt religious facilities from a more rigid certification process regarding their educational curriculum. Some Democrats say that could create an oversight loophole, while Republicans expressed concern at state authority over the curriculum of some religious schools.
Key Senate Democrats say they need to review the House bill.
The issue gained attention amid an investigation into abuse allegations at a Keokuk boarding school that had little state oversight.