Home » Uncategorized » School Choice is a good idea: But don’t let public schools languish

School Choice is a good idea: But don’t let public schools languish

The Iowa General Assembly passed the Students First Act Monday and Republican Governor Kim Reynolds quickly signed it into law on Tuesday.

Despite polls that showed widespread public opposition to the so-called “school choice” law.

The law uses taxpayer money to allow Iowa parents and guardians to send their children to private schools. 

Utah as well as at least nine other states are considering similar measures

Giving parents the choice of where they want their children to be educated is the right thing to do.  However, the fear raised by many opponents to these Education Savings Accounts (ESA) proposals is that, as taxpayer money follows students to private schools, public schools will loose funding and educational quality.

This argument is probably true.  And it requires policymakers to consider alternative measures to funding public schools rather than the discriminatory property tax method now employed.

The wealthy also have the advantage—due to their money and political influence—to leverage additional educational benefits.  Poverty-plagued communities lack both money and influence. 

The result is educational discrimination based on class and economics.

If lawmakers want to give the public the right to schools of their choice, these same officials must make sure that our public schools don’t languish. 

Many poor can’t afford to send their offspring to better schools.  And our elected leaders must not abandon those students left in public schools. We voters should demand that our government develop creative, effective means to assure quality education for all students.

If we truly believe that education is the great equalizer in America, let’s increase funding to public schools—especially in communities where they are most needed.

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