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Whether you call them ESAs or vouchers, as Iowa’s taxpayer watchdog I am alarmed by the intentional lack of transparency and accountability under the proposed legislation.

This bill gives private schools your tax dollars, and gives you no right to know what they are doing with them.

Existing law requires public schools to have open meetings, maintain and produce public records, and have elected citizen oversight. They must follow budgeting laws. They must have an annual audit. We learn of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars in part because of these obligations. None of these obligations apply to private schools the same way. This bill won’t change that.

Also, this bill provides no rules for how private school use these funds. After a private school gets public dollars as tuition, they could buy a teacher or teachers brand new Ford Mustang convertibles in the name of incentive pay. The public may not find out at all, and if they did, there may be no recourse for taxpayers. That is flatly, fundamentally irresponsible.

With no transparency obligations, no required public audits, no public records, and no public meetings, uncovering waste, fraud, and abuse of your tax dollars will be much harder.

Author: Press Release


  1. The accountability comes thru parental satisfaction. If the parents are satisfied with 7k of funding for all their assistance, then Iowa saves in the long run in overall reduction in tuition. We don’t need the government attaching increased compliance cost and other barriers to a real education.

    This is a huge win for children and parents.

  2. This guy should be listed as a certified lunatic. He obviously has no real knowledge of how private schools operate. And, he is speaking from the NEA playbook.

    Sorry, you lost. Now make public schools better!

  3. Who is this person are they this ignorant????? He speaks of this money as if it’s his/government!!!!!! It’s our money the voters and we voted!!! He has his opinion it seems very misguided. If your public school is doing a good job they have nothing to worry about. Competition makes for better education for kids. I think everyone should want that.


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