A look at the arguments surrounding this year's push for publicly funded private school vouchers
This isn't the first time Iowa's governor has pushed for private school vouchers. A look at how this year's approach is different and how its the same.
A low-income family looking to send a student to a private school would have access to publicly funded scholarships under a new bill.
The bill — a priority for Gov. Kim Reynolds — would create 10,000 private school scholarships for income-qualified students statewide, amounting to 70 percent of the state's per-pupil cost. Supporters argue such a move would allow families to choose the classroom that best meets their learning needs — even if it's a private one.
But, the public money would be diverted from the public school districts that it would otherwise fund. Although under the current plan, the remaining 30 percent of per-pupil costs would still go to rural school districts. Democrats say this would harm already cash-strapped districts in the state.
On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with legislative leaders about the push and its opposition with co-host Grant Gerlock, who covers education for Iowa Public Radio.
- Sen. Jesse Green, Republican from Boone, District 24
- Leon Cook, a sophomore at Manson Northwest Webster who formerly attended a private school
- Sen. Claire Celsi, Democrat from West Des Moines, District 21