The tangled web of Governor Reynolds’ private school voucher bill | Waverly Logs

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we first train ourselves to deceive”, was uttered by Sir Walter Scott in 1808 to depict the antics a Lord pursued in his lust for a rich woman. The phrase applies to the Republican Governor of Iowa (Kim Reynolds) and his GOP peers, but in this case their antics to use more public taxpayer money as a lust payment for a 2% lien K-12 students from Iowa to attend a private school (Senate File 2369).

The tangled weave embraced by the majority of Iowa GOP elected officials is emerging even though the bill is dead for this legislative session. Reynolds has promised, if re-elected as governor, the issue will be her top priority.

The devil is in the details. First, only two in five Iowa taxpayers approve of the diversion of public tax-generated funds to support private schools (Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, 2022).

Second, SF 2369 only benefits 10,000 private school students at the expense of 485,000 public school children.

Reynolds’ tangled web serves only a select few and not the 3 million citizens of Iowa. Similarly, 31 of 32 members of the GOP-controlled Senate approved SF 2369. Rumor has it that about 47 of 60 Republicans in the Iowa House favored the voucher bill. Therefore, only a few honorable GOP lawmakers are on Capitol Hill to represent their constituents, protect taxpayer-generated funds, and honor the public schools they serve.

Seven tangled webs of SF 2369:

#1: 42 of Iowa’s 99 counties don’t have a private school; the proposed legislation is for those who live primarily in urban counties.

No. 2: The bill is a slap in the face to rural Iowa, a GOP stronghold so far. Rural Iowans who favor the Republican Party should take note of how their fellow politicians deliberately stab them in the back.

#3: More than $100 million in hard-earned public dollars is already being spent — every year — to support private schools and homeschooling.

No. 4: The GOP plan would add another $55 million to the already huge pool of private school money. . . for life. Rest assured, if the bill is ever approved, the price of public funds to benefit private education will rise every year at the expense of public school districts.

No. 5: With the governor’s and GOP’s plan, the nonpartisan Tax Services Division estimates there would be a direct cut to public school funding of $79 million a year. Let’s see: $79 million divided by Iowa’s 327 public school districts means the average school district will lose $241,590 per year. We know that not all school districts are created equal. For most public school districts, the financial reduction will be enormous. But imagine the effect of a school losing ~$242,000 a year – and every year thereafter – and the number of teachers they will have to lay off year after year and class sizes increasing year after year. The deceptive antics of the Iowa GOP are sobering for public taxation and public education.

#6: If Governor Reynolds and the GOP’s tangled web of elected officials is allowed to continue, there will be a significant increase in public school closures, teacher shortages will occur and fewer opportunities for students attending. public schools to participate in curricular and extra-curricular efforts.

#7: Over the past six years, as the GOP controlled Iowa’s capital, funding for private schools and homeschooling increased 150% while state funding for 327 public school districts in Iowa didn’t even keep up with inflation and the cost of living.

Oh, what a tangled web the Iowa GOP has woven, making Iowa considerably less tolerable for raising a family. On Tuesday, November 8, support only lawmakers who want to preserve the rich history of Iowa’s public schools.

Doris J. Kelly is Speaker Emeritus of the Iowa House of Representatives (2007-2011), Vice Chair and Executive Director of the Iowa Parole Board (2011-2014)