“We know the vouchers will increase statewide as more schools are added to this list,” said Margaret Buckton of the Urban Education Network of Iowa, which includes the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City school districts. . “Since the previous beneficiaries of the vouchers will continue to be recipients, he will continue to expand the pool. We will be competing with private schools for the resources needed for our public schools. “
And it’s hard for public schools to compete with private schools, which may choose not to enroll some students, including those in special education or those with behavioral problems. Private schools are also not required to have financial audits or comply with Iowa’s Open Records Act, speakers said.
Shanda Carstens, of Panora, said her family had returned from Indiana to Iowa, in part, for good rural schools here. Because many small towns in Iowa do not have private schools, she is concerned that HSB 243 may push families out of rural areas.
“Are we really going to get the people of Iowa out of rural Iowa?” she asked. “Please take the most financially conservative route to more people want to go back to their rural roots. “
This pressure from rural areas is perhaps the only thing preventing the speedy passage of this bill. The voucher program is part of Governor Kim Reynolds’ broad education plan, but has been broken up into a separate bill in the House.
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