Education Savings Account Bill Discriminatory Towards Students, Some Parents Claim

School buses can weigh nearly 25,000 pounds. (WHO-HD)

ANKENY, Iowa  —  Some parents say a bill making its way through the Iowa Senate is discriminatory against students with learning disabilities.

Senate Study Bill 3206 would allow families to receive vouchers for their children who wish to enroll in a private school. The vouchers would be made up of taxpayer dollars.

Kerry Lust’s 10-year-old son Brandon is autistic. Lust says the bill could hurt her son’s educational experience, fearing public schools will suffer financially if taxpayer dollars are pushed towards private schools. She says Brandon doesn’t have an opportunity to go to private school because she believes administrators don’t have to approve enrollment for a child with disabilities.

“I know some who have been denied, you know, private schools have denied their kids. Others, you know, they want their kids to have to the best education possible, and when they are talking about taking money that goes towards your kid’s education and your kid doesn’t have a choice to leave, yeah, that’s a problem,” she says.

A similar bill was brought up in the Iowa House but failed to gain enough support. Governor Kim Reynolds has proposed a 1.5% school funding increase, but both the House and Senate chose a 1% increase for next school year.