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Iowa State Sen. Amy Sinclair delivered incredible remarks at the conclusion of Wednesday’s subcommittee meeting on Governor Kim Reynolds’ education bill, which includes a limited amount of Education Savings Accounts for a limited group of Iowans.

It is a start, though.


And Sinclair brought the fire at the end of the meeting:

“What I want to do is conclude with just, just a recent experience I had with some colleagues of mine, and some folks who…I was at dinner with a group of folks. Senator Rozenboom was there. Half a dozen other people. There were public educators. There were private educators. There were coaches and administrators and school board members and me. And we were talking about all kinds of issues related to Iowa’s community colleges and to our public school system. We were having a conversation about education.

And when we got to the conversation about choice in education — about parental rights and choice in education, which is what this bill gets to the heart of — the transparency is a parental rights issue.  The choice on education, the scholarship is a parental rights issue. The access to information — all of this — this bill is a parental rights issue and it’s a choice in education issue. And so when we got to this topic, when we got to the discussion of the Governor’s bill, I looked around the table and every single person at that table with the exception of one had either sent their children to private school, or has homeschooled their children at some point or another or had sent their children to private college. Every single person at that table had access to school choice. Every single person at that table had access school choice.

Do you know what’s different about the people at that table and the people addressed by this bill? You want to know what the difference is? We had the means to choose. We had the means to choose. We were capable of paying that tuition or capable of teaching our children at home. We had the means to choose. Do you know who is not open to school choice? Who’s not allowed to choose education? It’s parents who don’t have the means to choose. And this bill addresses those parents. This bill addresses those parents. We’re addressing students who are poor, in poverty. I’ll conclude with this.

I want to choose what’s best for my son, my 15-year-old son. Do you know what I choose and will continue to choose regardless of this bill? I will choose my son’s public school. I love my son’s public school. They take care of his needs. They advance him as he needs to. They hold him accountable when he needs it.

That’s not true for all students in all schools. What we got to come down to in this bill, we’ve got address is, those kids whose mom can’t choose. Those kids. Stop talking about systems. Stop talking about teachers in a public school system. There are teachers in private schools. Stop talking about people who don’t support this as people who don’t matter. There are parents in this room who support this, and they support this because they know they have the right to choose what is best for their child, but they might not have the means to do it.

Ladies and gentlemen, this bill is not about those of us who can already choose for our kids. This bill is about kids who don’t have any other opportunities. And I beg you, I beg you to think of those children as Senator Rozenboom and I sign this out.”

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