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NEWS 3.3.22

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KCCI Television
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Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a law (HF 2416) that bars transgender girls and women from competing in girls’ and women’s sports in Iowa.

The ban takes effect immediately and applies to K-12 schools and community colleges as well as colleges and universities that are part of the NCAA or NAIA.

Reynolds signed the law in the capitol rotunda surrounded by young women who support the measure. She repeated the claim that transgender girls hold an advantage over other female athletes.

“It worries me that this bill is needed at all. It’s hard to imagine how anyone who cares about the rights of women and girls could support anything less.”

Democrats and LGBTQ advocates say the law attacks a small, marginalized group of students over competitiveness claims that they say are exaggerated.

Ten other states currently have transgender athlete bans in place. Many of those are caught up in ongoing legal challenges.

A Republican-controlled South Dakota Senate committee has dismissed Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to ban public K-12 school curricula that compels people to feel “discomfort” based on their race. The Senate Education Committee voted 4-3 to reject the proposal. The move, made by three Republicans and a Democrat, was a major blow to Noem’s proposal. She had touted as a repudiation of critical race theory. It could still be resurrected with widespread support in the full Senate.

To address a shortage of staff, the Sioux City school district will be rewarding new teachers with a $5,000 bonus. Permanent substitute teachers, food service workers and bus drivers will also qualify for a recruitment stipend.

Representatives from the local teachers’ union say they’re happy to see new hires rewarded, but that the district needs to focus on retention. Brenda Zahner [ZAH ner] is the director.

“You have so many employees who have gone above and beyond in the last couple of years dealing with all these staff shortages. And I hope that somehow somewhere you find something to give those people as well.”

School board members say they need to take urgent action. There is more than 50 unfilled teaching positions within the district.

School board president Dan Greenwell says they are focusing on positions where recruitment has been failing.

“We need new employees. And doing what we were doing and had been doing probably isn’t going to work in this market. So we have to try something differently.”

New teachers will receive installments of $2,500 at the beginning of each school year for two years.

The Greater Siouxland Home Show started today at the Siouxland Expo Center. The 65th annual event includes 230 booths and 165 exhibits and continues through Thursday.

Omaha's premier art museum is set to close its doors later this spring and stay closed for about two years as a new multi-million dollar pavillion is constructed. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Joslyn Art Museum near downtown Omaha will close on May 2 for construction of a new $100 million pavilion, which has already begun. The pavilion is set to open sometime in 2024 and will be named for philanthropists and longtime museum supporters Rhonda and Howard Hawks. Howard Hawks is a founder of Omaha-based energy company Tenaska and is a former member and chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

News release from the State of Iowa:

Gov. Reynolds signs bill protecting girls’ sports in Iowa

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds today signed HF 2416 into law protecting girls’ sports programs at all school levels, including high school and collegiate levels in Iowa. The bill allows participation in sports based upon the biological sex listed on the athlete’s birth certificate.

“This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa. No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

This bill requires schools at all levels to designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed. Only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girls sports. No student will be prevented from playing a sport that matches his or her biological sex, or a sport designated as co-ed.

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