Education Savings Account Bills Advances To the Iowa Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Should public money be used for private and in-home education?  It's an issue lawmakers are debating this year at the Capitol.

On Wednesday, the Senate Education Sub Committee approved state funding for private and home school students

"This gives us the opportunity to do that in a lot of ways competition spears innovated ways to get things done," Senate Republican Jerry Behn said.

The bill provides education grants, and an income tax deduction for families who enroll their student outside the public-school system.  Senate File 372 would give grants of over $6,800.  That is equal to what districts receive from the state per student.

Critics worry it will come at the expense of public education

“Make no mistake this is a fundamental rewriting of the way we do public education in Iowa," Democratic State Senator Claire Celsi warned,  "It would potential take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the system and put it into private schools."

Families would have to reapply for the grant each year.  The subcommittee recommended the bill move onto a full committee vote.

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