Reynolds signs school voucher bill for private school students

DES MOINES — Less than 12 hours after the bill cleared the legislature, Governor Reynolds late this morning signed the bill that will provide state-funded accounts for the parents of private school students. By 2025, all private school parents in Iowa, regardless of income, would get state money to cover private school expenses.

Reynolds applauded the Republican-led legislature for quickly acting on her proposal.  “In my Condition of the State Address, I urged the General Assembly to think big and aim high, to ignore the hysteria that always accompanies bold change. In passing the Students First Act, that is exactly what you did, and I cannot think of a more worthy cause to aim high and dream big than for the future of our children.”

Reynolds says the bill will provide major progress in improving Iowa’s schools.   “For the first time, we’re funding students instead of a system. We’re 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, and we are putting an end to the notion that competition is a zero sum game.”

The first two years, state money will be deposited into Education Savings Accounts for low-income parents enrolling children in a private school. The bill also provides public schools get $1200 for every district resident who is enrolled in a private K-through-12 school.