Jan 4, 2022 - Politics

Gov. Kim Reynolds supports legislation targeting school books

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks with reporters at the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 4, 2022. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday that she supports legislation addressing controversial books in school libraries, citing the need for more transparency about what's on shelves.

Driving the news: Books are the latest battle in schools as parents and conservative lawmakers move to ban literature they consider inappropriate, which oftentimes includes sexual content, race or LGBTQ issues.

What she's saying: Reynolds during a press conference recommended a process that lets parents know which books are available in schools and offers a way for them to voice concerns about contents of the materials.

  • She didn't say whether she supports penalizations, but called for more transparency about what materials are given to students as part of classroom curriculum.
  • "This isn't necessarily top-down," Reynolds said. "This is being driven by parents."

Meanwhile, Republican Senate education chair Amy Sinclair said a priority is drafting a "parent bill of rights," which gives families knowledge of what's being taught, and letting them weigh in or choose different options.

Between the lines: Sinclair said school libraries should have age-appropriate books, but no specifics were shared of what materials may be considered inappropriate.

  • Lawmakers are exploring a process that may require parental consent before certain materials are accessed.

What's next: Sinclair said no specific legislation has been drafted yet. Expect to see a bill this session, which starts Jan. 10.


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