Governor to sign school voucher bill after Iowa Senate passes in early Tuesday vote

A bill on education funding is now heading to Governor Kim Reynolds' desk to sign.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:41 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - After three hours of debate, the Iowa Senate passed a bill to use taxpayer money to fund private school scholarships.

“The Students First Act” passed in a vote of 31 to 18 around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. On Monday, it passed the Iowa House 54 to 45.

The bill would create taxpayer funded education savings accounts for students who attend a private, accredited school.

Parents could use the money for things like tuition, textbooks and tutoring.

Governor Kim Reynolds released a statement shortly after the vote, saying she plans to sign the bill into law later on Tuesday.

“I am thrilled that both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate have passed the Students First Act,” said Reynolds. “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. Parents, not the government, can now choose the education setting best suited to their child regardless of their income or zip code.”

The latest bill is now expected to head to her desk for her signature.

“This bill is a grave mistake for Iowa – fundamentally, financially, and morally,” said Iowa state Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames. “The only way to pay for this program is to continue to bleed our public schools.”

“Private school vouchers will hurt local schools, weaken rural communities, and reduce opportunity for the vast majority of Iowa kids,” said Iowa State Senator Molly Donahue of Cedar Rapids.

Iowa Senate Democrats also released a statement following the early morning vote, with some calling it a “grave mistake for Iowa.”

This will mark the biggest change in Iowa’s education system in decades.

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