Iowa approves school choice
Jermiah Poff writes, “Educational freedom belongs to all, not just those who can afford it.”
“What an amazing day for our children,” Reynolds said at the signing ceremony, according to the Des Moines Register. “Public schools are the foundation of our educational system, and for most families, they’ll continue to be the option of choice. But they aren’t the only choice. And for some families, a different path may be better for their children.”
The new program will provide students with more than $7,000 in annual funds through an education savings account that can be used to cover all sorts of education-related expenses, including private school tuition and private tutoring.
Reynolds, a Republican, had sought to enact a school choice program in the state’s previous legislative session but encountered opposition from members of her own party that doomed the bill. She later took the unusual step of endorsing primary opponents for several of her party’s own incumbents who opposed school choice. On Election Day, Republicans expanded their majorities in both houses of the state legislature, setting the stage for Tuesday’s bill signing.
“For the first time, we will fund students instead of a system, a decisive step in ensuring that every child in Iowa can receive the best education possible,” Reynolds said in a statement after the legislature approved the bill. “Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code. With this bill, Iowa has affirmed that educational freedom belongs to all, not just those who can afford it.”
With the Students First Act now law, Iowa follows Arizona as one of the first states in the nation to enact a universal school choice program. Similar bills are under consideration in Texas, Utah, and Florida.
January 26. 2023
Link to Washington Examiner story written by Jeremiah Poff is here.