Say yes to Governor’s Education Savings Accounts plan

I would encourage you to contact your legislator and ask they vote YES for the Education Savings Account (ESA) bill.

If parents or students feel they will have better results and success in private schools than public, then the Education Savings Accounts will allow the funds to follow the student. Funding should follow the actual education. Private education is now restricted and limited by government policy. ESA would provide more opportunities and give many parents an actual choice. I believe it is in the best interest of the child and the family to have the dollars follow where the education is provided.

Marshalltown school district receives $10,724 per student, with all types of funding projected to be over $17,000. The ESA would provide $7,598 for the students approved education expenses such as tuition, materials, and tutoring. This will not raise taxes, the funds would follow the students actual education. Currently parents must be affluent or make extreme sacrifice to be able to send their children to private school. As an Iowa taxpayer I believe that when tax funding is committed to education, the actual education is how funding should be applied.

Many of our local educators and administration received education at private institutions. These private institutions exist and are sustained because “PUBLIC” (Pell, FSEOG, TEACH, Veterans Benefits, etc. ) money follows the student. The student receives their education and this money, tied to the student, helps cover the cost. This has improved education choices and opportunities. This has required that both public and private institutions sharpen their focus and improve their offerings and service. The competition is beneficial.

Iowa provides additional funding to provide for students with special needs. This is tied to the student and their special needs. Iowa has three tiers of additional funding. This funding is available to the public schools based on their students with these needs. The ESA bill does not take away any special needs funding from public education.

When Indiana passed similar legislation the critics were sure the sky was falling. It has not caused public schools to collapse. There was not a mass exodus. I believe public schools in Iowa would improve with competition. I would hope our public school officials have a level of confidence in our public schools, and their ability to compete.


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