Feb 15, 2022 - News

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds pushes for "school choice" bill

Gov. Kim Reynolds
Gov. Kim Reynolds enters the Iowa House of Representatives' chamber on Jan. 11, 2022, to give the annual Condition of the State address. Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA Today Network

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday made another public push for a bill that she said will help lower- and middle-income families afford private school.

Driving the news: Reynolds held a press conference at St. Theresa's Catholic School in Des Moines to bring attention to the "school choice" bill, which would set up a scholarship fund to help some eligible students pay for private education.

  • She argues it will give families more equitable access to private schooling options if their local public district doesn't suit them.

Yes, but: It's stalled in the Iowa House, though the Senate is likely to take it up this week, Radio Iowa reports.

How it works: A low- or middle-income student who leaves a public school district is also taking a portion of their state funding ($5,359) with them.

  • Under the measure, if a student were to leave a public district, the state would place that money into an "education savings account" that can be used for tuition at another school.
  • The rest of the pupil’s state funding would be dispersed to help smaller school districts.

The other side: Public school leaders and Democrats argue it drains money away from districts that need it and puts it into the pockets of private entities that aren't under the same scrutiny.

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