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By Walt Rogers

I was the Chair of the Education committee in the Iowa House.  I once had a superintendent tell me that turning the bureaucracy around of the public school system would be like turning a 1000 Titanic’s around in one minute.
 
In 2017/18, the Senate Ed Chair and I spent countless hours with lobbyists and advocates figuring out ways to help schools use funds that were tied up in federal and state regulated required expenditure accounts. I worked with many of my colleagues to consider all the mandates and try to reduce them, I got the local control bill passed for schools, (which ended up apparently not changing much).  I expanded operational sharing in rural schools, began closing the gap in transportation funding and per pupil district funding.
At the end of the day and session, it basically always came down to the teacher union demanding more money. So, I return to that superintendent’s admonition, the almost impossible task of changing the federal and state mandated bureaucracy in schools. I’ve always been an advocate of school choice, but it was then that I realized the only way to change this system for the better is to give parents another option.
As I dug deeper into the facts of school choice it became apparent that the opponents of school choice only want control, because all the data, and I mean ALL the data, and common sense shows that school choice is good for everyone involved, except the people who want more employees (i.e.-union dues) in the system.
So, I fight for school choice because it’s better for all students, parents, teachers, communities, and all of Iowa.

So, I fight for school choice because it’s better for all students, parents, teachers, communities, and all of Iowa.

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