Iowa Republican Gov. on Tuesday signed a new school choice measure allowing for public funding of private schools as public schools continue to fail students and serve as incubators of left-wing ideology and propaganda.
According to the Daily Caller, House Study Bill 1, known as the “Students First Act,” provides $7,598 to students enrolled in private schools, which is equal to the average amount the state spends on a public school student annually. The measure passed the Iowa House on a vote of 55-45 while passing the state Senate by a 31-18 margin, according to KCCI 8 News.
“For the first time we are funding students, instead of a system,” Reynolds noted during a Tuesday press conference. “We are rejecting the idea that the answer to improving education is simply pumping more money into the same system year after year without making significant changes.”
The Daily Caller adds:
The law creates the Education Savings Account (ESA) program which provides families who withdraw their students from public schools and enroll them in private school with taxpayer funds. Under the Iowa law, the student is eligible to receive funding until they are 20 years old.
In the first year of the program every Iowa kindergartener and every public school student, regardless of income, is eligible. By the third year of the program, every Iowa family will be eligible for the ESA program. Under the law, public schools within the state will receive $1,205 for each student who lives in their district but attends private school and is funded by the ESA program.
“This is a major win for families looking for greater education freedom and choice,” Jason Bedrick, a research fellow in the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller. “The Students First Act, which makes education savings accounts available to all Iowa families with children in K-12 grades, puts parents in charge of the education options for their children.”
“For the first time, we will fund students not systems!” Reynolds noted on Twitter. “Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code. Iowa has affirmed that educational freedom belongs to all!”
For the first time, we will fund students not systems!
Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code.
Iowa has affirmed that educational freedom belongs to all! pic.twitter.com/eQPx7C5BH0
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) January 24, 2023
Iowa is now the third state to enact a school choice law that provides public funding to all students.
“This is one of the best vehicles for providing families with more options, since parents can use the ESAs (education savings accounts) for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, curricular materials, special-needs therapy and more. We’ve already seen success from ESAs in Arizona,” Bedrick told Fox News Digital.
“Although Iowa is the third state to pass universal school choice, it is the state with the heaviest foot on the accelerator. Although Arizona was the first state to pass school choice for all families last year, their program had been around for over a decade. Gov. Reynolds just signed into law a program that includes most families in its first year and automatically expands to all families after two years,” American Federation for Children Senior Fellow Corey DeAngelis told the outlet as well.