***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

House File 2223 was sponsored by Republican State Rep. Skyler Wheeler and cosponsored by 10 fellow House Republicans. The bill phases in essentially a full school choice agenda for Iowa parents involving Education Savings Accounts.

The proposed law establishes the Iowa Hope Scholarship Program for the school years commencing on or after July 1, 2023. The bill would phase in eligibility for the program based on grade eligibility and whether a child was enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school in the base year.

Advertisement

Following the approval of a scholarship application, the Department of Management must make available to each participating student a scholarship in the amount equal to the sum of all the following for the same school budget year:

*The product of the student’s weighted enrollment that would otherwise be assigned to the pupil if the pupil was enrolled in the student’s district of residence multiplied by the difference between 88.4 percent of the regular program state cost per pupil and the statewide average foundation property tax per pupil;
*The total teacher salary supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of residence;
*The total professional development supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of residence;
*The total early intervention supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of residence;
*The total Area Education Agency teacher salary supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of resident;
*The total Area Education Agency professional development supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of residence;
*The total teacher leadership supplement district cost per pupil for the student’s district of residence.

Here is who would be eligible and when for these scholarships:

*A child who is eligible to enroll in preschool through 12th grade and is not enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school in the school year PRIOR to the school year for which the scholarship is received. (Essentially beginning in 2023).

*A child who is eligible to enroll in 11th and 12th grades and is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the year previous. (Essentially beginning in 2023).

*A child eligible to enroll in 9-12 grades and is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2024).

*A child eligible to enroll in 7-12 grades and is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2025).

*A child eligible to enroll in 5-12 grades and is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2026).

*A child who is eligible to enroll in grades 3-12 and who is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2027).

*A child who is eligible to enroll in grades 1-12 and who is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2028).

*A child who is eligible to enroll in PreK-12 grades and who is enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school or private preschool for the previous year. (Essentially beginning in 2029).

GOP Representatives Henry Stone, Mark Cisneros, Dean Fisher, Sandy Salmon, Cherielynn Westrich, Brooke Boden, Steve Holt, John Wills, Steven Bradley and Jeff Shipley cosponsored the legislation with Wheeler.

School Administrators of Iowa as well as the Iowa Association of School Boards have registered against the bill.

The Family Leader, Iowa Catholic Conference, Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education, Americans For Prosperity, Iowans for Tax Relief, EdChoice and Iowa Association of Christian Schools have registered in support.

Author: Jacob Hall

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here