Strong public schools are essential for Iowa’s future. Families often choose where they live based on the best public school systems and businesses seek a skilled workforce when relocating. A skilled workforce comes through investments at each step of the way, early childhood through higher education and apprenticeships.Iowa had a reputation for great public schools. However chronic underfunding is taking a toll, especially on rural school districts under strain from high transportation costs and a smaller tax base than urban areas.
School choice is used as an excuse to siphon public dollars for private education vouchers. We know from experiences of other states, this weakens public schools which must maintain the same overhead costs with fewer resources, causing cuts in key staff and programs, and increases in class sizes.
Vouchers do not guarantee a child access to a private school, which can raise rates at any time or reject any student for any reason. Only the public system can ensure that a quality school is available to every child in every corner of the state, regardless of race, religion, ability, background, or identity. Public schools accept ALL. More than half of Iowans do not have school-aged children, yet all Iowans, as well as Iowa businesses, pay taxes. We all, not just parents, have a say in how Iowa’s public education dollars are invested.
I pledge to support public education.