Iowa to allow K-12 vouchers to private, Christian schools
Iowa passed the Students First Act on Tuesday, which allows students to use public money to attend accredited private schools, including Christian schools. The plan includes access to $7,600 per pupil in education savings accounts to be used on things like private school tuition, school books, and test fees. Right now, the plan currently does not extend to homeschooling. About a third of U.S. states have voucher programs of some kind, but not many have education savings account programs. A similar bill is being considered by lawmakers in Utah.
How much will the plan cost? The Iowa Legislative Services Agency estimates that the plan will cost an additional $344.9 million in public funding when it is fully implemented in 2026. During the 2023-2024 school year, private school students with household incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible. By the 2025-2026 school year, all K-12 students in Iowa will be eligible.
Dig deeper: Read Jennifer Patterson’s column in World Opinions making a case for parental choice.
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