The Iowa Legislature has recently passed a bill that will provide public funding for school tuition and other educational expenses for any student who desires it. This bill, passed with only Republican support, would require the Iowa state government to give $344.9 million in taxpayer money annually to its citizens in its fourth year of implementation. Iowa is the third state to pass such a measure, joining West Virginia and Arizona.
“For the first time, we will fund students instead of a system, a decisive step in ensuring that every child in Iowa can receive the best education possible,” Gov. Reynolds (R) said in a statement. “Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code.”
Supporters of the bill argue that it affords parents more choice and voice in the education of their children. They claim that the bill will provide parents the opportunity to find the best educational environment for their children, regardless of financial constraints.
On the other hand, opponents of the bill have raised concerns about the effect it will have on funding for public schools. They argue that the bill will divert resources from public schools, which are already struggling to provide quality education.
Iowa will join West Virginia and Arizona as states that offer taxpayer money to help families pay student tuition and other expenses at private schools with little restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states provide this assistance, but only to families who meet criteria related to their income, level of disability, or other considerations.