For the second year in a row, the Iowa Association of Christian Schools (IACS) applauds Governor Reynolds for looking to empower parents in the education of their children. We are fortunate to have a Governor willing to champion an effort that includes Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and other measures to ensure parents have access to choices that best meets their child’s educational needs: whether public, private, homeschool, or other educational service. For over eight years, we’ve been a part of a coalition of parents and schools that has introduced several ESA proposals. We will stand ready to support efforts that simultaneously empower parents while preserving high quality, unique options.
Governor Kim Reynolds announced that she would introduce legislation creating Student First Scholarships. Here is some basic information about her plan.
1. To qualify, families have to have their student(s) enrolled in public school in the previous school year and have a household income of less than 400% of the federal poverty level OR have a student with an individual education plan.
2. Those who qualify are eligible to receive 70 percent of the state’s per-pupil funding to use for educational expenses (currently $5,359).
3. Scholarships will be capped at 10,000 during the first year of implementation (the 2022-2023 school year) and distributed evenly between the two eligibility groups, if one group doesn’t use all of the funding and the other group has a wait list then the remainder will be awarded to those applicants.
IACS looks forward to working with our coalition partners and the Iowa Legislature over the next several weeks to ensure that whatever is considered and passed meets the needs of families looking for options while respecting the diverse missions and roles of Iowa’s private schools.