Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, and the Hawkeye State's legislature made National School Choice Week really mean something for Iowa parents and children by passing the Iowa Students First Act.
This legislation ends the taxation without attendance burden borne by parents who send their students to private schools.
Instead of seeing their tax dollars go to a public (read: government) school system they don’t support, these parents will have access to up to $7,598.00 per year that is held in an education savings account.
The Des Moines Register, through grit teeth, explains how this works, "The law will phase in over three years and eventually allow all Iowa families to use up to $7,598 a year in an 'education savings account' for private school tuition.
"If any money is left over after tuition and fees, families can use the funds for specific educational expenses, including textbooks, tutoring, standardized testing fees, online education programs and vocational and life skills training."
What the bill does is give parents who learned to their horror what public schools were teaching during the COVID-19 Zoom semesters an option for choosing education for their children instead of indoctrination.
All without crippling financial penalties.
Needless to say, Gov. Reynolds was pleased: "What an amazing day for our children!" She proclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd.
"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," she explained.
Passage of the bill exposed yet another Democratic Party contradiction.
That party is totally in favor of parents choosing to surgically mutilate their children and put them on dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives as they "transition" from one sex to another.
But transitioning from government schools to a private school is way outside a parent’s area of expertise. The decision is the government’s alone.
Democratic State Sen. Molly Donahue, D-Iowa - Dist. 37, was quoted by the Des Moines Register fulminating, "Spending public money with no accountability is reckless. Our public schools and students deserve better."
The new program will start by applying to all incoming kindergarten students and all government school students who want to make a switch.
Students that currently attend private school will be able to access the fund created by their tax dollars if the family makes at or below three times the federal poverty level.
For a family of four in 2023 that means a maximum income of $83,250.
In the second year the maximum income increases to $111,000 for a family of four and in the third year of the program all Iowa school children will qualify.
School choice simply brings competition to complacent, ideologically controlled public schools. The Democratic administration wants more competition for Google — we agree! — and are suing the monopoly to make it happen.
But competition for public schools is crazy talk.
One bill supporter, State Rep. John Wills, R-Spirit Lake, explained: "This bill is about freedom. This bill is about freedom for the family to make a decision. This bill is about where that family feels that child will be best taught."
The child might best be taught in private school, a religious school, a public school or at home. Regardless of the venue, Iowa is putting the choice back where it belongs and that’s with parents.
Parents who will no longer be paying double for their child’s education.
This makes Iowa the third state to pass a comprehensive law like this, most recently following Arizona.
Florida has a similar bill in the works this session.
We hope it passes, too.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker's bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)" Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.