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The Iowa State Education Association’s president, Mike Beranek, issued the following response to the Condition of the State Address delivered by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

“While we appreciate hearing Gov. Reynolds say words of support for Iowa’s public school teachers with a stipend of federal ESSR money for their hard work and efforts throughout the pandemic, her actions introducing a private school voucher program and propagating the untruths about what is happening in our public schools tell a different story.

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“Additionally, our education support personnel which include bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors and a host of other support professionals who keep our schools running and safe are ignored. They are an integral part of the fabric of our schools.

“This has never been about parental choice and transparency. Our public schools have always been accountable to the local communities they serve.

“The ISEA stands firmly in support of Iowa’s excellent public education employees, our students and our public schools. A strong public education system is the foundation of a healthy and prosperous state and should be guaranteed to all and fully funded.

“Tonight, Gov. Kim Reynolds launched an all-out assault on Iowa’s public schools. She proposed using taxpayer funding for private and religious schools and continues to politically inflame with divisive claims.

“Right now, Iowa’s public schools need our collective focus. Nearly two years of pandemic pressure, political jabs and years of making do without, our public education system deserves thoughtful, collaborative solutions, shared responsibility, consideration of proven educational strategies and programs and policies which grow and expand excellent education every day for our children. We do not need a private school voucher program which robs finite taxpayer funding and funnels it to select private and religious places without taxpayer oversight.

“Our mission, as a state, must always be to provide a safe, healthy and quality educational experience and to support a public system of excellence, fairness and equality, that teaches our students about how to live in a democratic society. We must serve the many, not the few.

“Gov. Reynolds, in Iowa there is no place for private school vouchers.”

Author: Jacob Hall

2 COMMENTS

  1. This in fact ABSOLUTELY the time to encourage school vouchers. If parents in Iowa have learned anything in the last two years, they learned that public schools don’t always have the best interests at heart for students, parents and families. What Iowa needs is a robust program that encourages school choice and the school systems MUST provide financial and logistical resources to assist students and parents to make the transition to private schools when parents decide to opt out of public education.

    • Absolutely agree. Obviously parents -tax payers- would not be seeking other alternatives to our public education system if the education and education environment was satisfactory. To say vouchers would not have tax payer oversight is totally missing the problem that has caused tax payer parents to request vouchers. If a parent is pleased with the education their children receive, they would not be putting their children into alternative learning situations. It is precisely the taxpaying parents that are watching the detriments of public education on their children’s values and quality of learning opportunities that have shown them the need to seek alternatives for their children’s education teaching options.

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