Our IACS January 2019 Newsletter is out! There are a few events to pencil in on your calendar and we have an overview on the legislature and our areas of focus for the year!
Although it is a tough budget year for the State of Iowa and many interest groups are asking for increased resources, we have heard time and again this year that “K-12 education will be held harmless.” We laid significant groundwork for tax credit and education savings account legislation moving forward.
Despite this, funding of transportation services for nonpublic school students is facing a cut in SSB 1198. The budget bill is being considered by the Iowa legislature this week. The funding was cut $278,000 in this current fiscal year. Next year’s budget continues cutting nonpublic school transportation funding for a total cut of $363,000. This is unacceptable.
Please use our action alert to contact your Representative and Senator today and ask them to support nonpublic schools by truly “holding K-12 harmless.”
Our latest newsletter is out! You can download it here (PDF)!
Inside are details on next week’s Iowa ACE School Choice Summit, our Annual Meeting coming up next month, and some other updates and miscellany we think you need to know!
Our newsletter summarizing the 2016 session can be found here. It outlines the victory on independent accreditation, funding issues, assessments, the ESA effort, and more.
Be sure to forward the PDF to your school parents, friends, and anyone who may be interested.
Thank you to everyone who emailed your legislators this session. Although they didn’t pass an ESA pilot program, your emails helped us get the sunset removed on independent accreditation – our top priority for ten sessions! Thank you!
Legislators are now in the middle of debating budget bills in order to go home for the year. Iowa’s Christian schools benefit from a number of state programs and initiatives that benefit Iowa’s students that attend our schools. Line items in the state budget that impact Christian schools:
- Textbooks/technology funding
- Transportation services
- School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credits providing scholarship opportunities for low-income families
- Area Education Agency services
- Tuition tax credit (25 percent of the first $1,000 spent on education) for public and private school parents
We understand that the state budget is tighter than usual this year. The House and Senate have agreed to cut the Governor’s proposed increase of $90,000 in nonpublic textbook funding and there seems to be no forward movement on ESA, STO, or transportation this week as they look to wrap up the session.
Would you be willing to email your legislators today and ask them to seize this final opportunity of the year to pass meaningful legislation that would positively impact students in every educational setting? The Iowa Association of Christian Schools is supporting efforts to:
- Repeal the sunset provision in the Independent Accreditation, ensuring Iowa’s private schools can remain accountable to taxpayers in a way that meets their unique needs and pushes them to higher levels of academic excellence.
- Restore funding of textbooks and technology for nonpublic school students that was cut back several years ago and hasn’t been restored.
- Increase funding for transportation services for nonpublic school students. Currently the state limits this funding to about 80 percent of claims. The original purpose of the funding was to make sure students get to school safely.
Christian school parents and their children save the state millions of dollars as they cover most of the cost of private school education themselves and still contribute to the public school funding through local property, income, and sales tax.
We believe parents have the right to choose the type of education that best fits their child’s needs regardless of their income or address. Please ask your legislators to create the conditions necessary to exercise this right.
Please send a message to your legislator on these issues. We encourage you to edit the message and put it in your own words. Thanks for being willing to get involved!