The Iowa Standard has obtained an email from an Iowa House Republican last week in which the legislator speculated that Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill to provide parents with Education Savings Accounts is “20-plus” votes short in the Iowa House.
The bill, which provides 5,000 scholarships to students with IEPs and 5,000 scholarships to students leaving public school for another option (or incoming kindergarten students), has shown little movement in an Iowa House that currently features a 60-40 Republican majority.
The Iowa Senate passed a bill last year that contained Education Savings Accounts for a limited amount of parents, but Iowa House Republicans killed it under current House leadership and Iowa House Education Committee Rep. Dustin Hite.
This year’s bill was moved from the Education Committee to the Appropriations Committee due to a lack of support in the Iowa House Education Committee that started with Hite, who has a primary challenger in 2022.
According to the Republican Party platform, the Republican Party of Iowa is supposed to believe:
“Parents are responsible for their children, and we support the rights of parents to be the ultimate authority for the discipline, protection and education of their children.”
“We believe money should follow the child in education — whether that child attends public, private, parochial or homeschool — to assist parents financially in educating their children using the option best suited to their family’s educational needs.”
Parents who The Iowa Standard have talked with make it clear they want to see action on Education Savings Accounts and they believe it is the responsibility of Iowa House Republican leadership — Speaker Pat Grassley and Majority Leader Matt Windschitl — to get it done.
A number of representatives who have expressed hesitation on Education Savings Accounts will be facing primaries in 2022 as well.
Dennis Bush faces a primary against conservative Zach Dieken in House District 5; David Maxwell faces a primary against Rep. Dean Fisher in House District 53; Lee Hein faces a primary against Rep. Steve Bradley in House District 66; Joe Mitchell faces a primary against Rep. Jeff Shipley in House District 87 (Mitchell expressed opposition last year to ESAs but has said if the bill gets to the floor this year he will vote for it); Dustin Hite faces a primary against Helena Hayes in House District 88.