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Greetings from the Golden Dome. Members of the 90th General Assembly have been sworn in and the work of making your voice heard within the policy-making process has begun.

I could not pick a better time in Iowa history to serve than right now. I am so proud to be a part of the largest Republican majority in half a century. Both Iowa and Florida experienced a Red Wave this past election cycle the rest of the nation did not experience. This is due to strong, bold, conservative leadership, and the majority of the citizens of Iowa desire even more conservative solutions as we move forward. During the last election cycle, many Republicans who were not strong one way or another on the issue of school choice were voted out. Those Republicans were replaced with leaders who desire to help make the Governor’s vision of more education freedom in Iowa a reality.

The solution for bettering education is not always money. One fact that proves this is that Iowa spends roughly $2,000 more per student than Florida, but they have better test scores than we have. We have increased funding for education by 37% within the past 10 years. Why have Iowa’s scores not caught up to Florida as a result of this? One thing that Florida has that Iowa does not is not just beaches, but they also have more educational choices for their students.

Polling shows that over 40% of parents desire a private education for their children, but only 5% are able to get them enrolled. There are many possible reasons for this, but I believe finances or zip codes should not be the main factor for it.

One reason this conversation can be hard to have with taxpayers is that many are unaware that there are 3 sources of revenue for their public schools which includes property tax, federal, and state. The state portion is $7,598 out of a total of $17,031 per student. No I did not make a typing error. $17,031 per student is what is invested in each Iowa child’s education when you add up all tax dollars collected and spent for education. $7,598 is the amount the Governor is desiring to eventually follow every student into whatever accredited environment that their family chooses is best for their situation.

Many opponents are worried that this change will hurt rural public schools and force them to close. My answer to that objection is that it is estimated that only 2% of students will actually exit a public school to go to a private school if one is available to them and the financial barrier is eliminated. This is proven by the response from other parents in different states that have already enacted this type of reform.

The main idea that drives my passion for school choice is that I can’t think of any better policy than this one to help create a more civil society going forward. I hope we can all agree that we can do better in being more civil to one another. When we allow our tax dollars to reflect the values of the taxpayer as much as possible, a more civil society I believe will be the result. Some Christians do not want their children to be a social experiment at a young age, and they pay their fair taxes for education as well.

I thank the Governor for her bold leadership. It has resulted in historic tax reform, the protection of life and the protection of our gun rights. Now she has her sights set on expanding the rights of parents to find the best education possible for our kids. I have and will continue to do everything I can to make this vision a reality.

Author: Jesse Green


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