My old home state of Iowa has passed a comprehensive school choice bill, a good first step for which I have advocated for years. Excerpt:
Under House Study Bill 1 or the “Students First Act,” students in private school will receive $7,598, the average cost the state spends on a public school student, per year for any family in the state to cover private school expenses. The bill, signed by Reynolds on Tuesday, passed the Iowa House in a 55-45 vote and the Iowa Senate in a 31-18 vote on Monday, according to KCCI 8 News.
“For the first time we are funding students, instead of a system,” Reynolds said at a Tuesday press conference. “We are rejecting the idea that the answer to improving education is simply pumping more money into the same system year after year without making significant changes.”
The law creates the Education Savings Account (ESA) program which provides families who withdraw their students from public schools and enroll them in private school with taxpayer funds. Under the Iowa law, the student is eligible to receive funding until they are 20 years old.
In the first year of the program every Iowa kindergartener and every public school student, regardless of income, is eligible. By the third year of the program, every Iowa family will be eligible for the ESA program.
As I said, this is a good start. My desired end-state would be eliminating all government involvement in education at any level – and, for that matter, ending all government involvement in energy, in housing, in marriage, and in almost everything else. Especially the Imperial government.
But politics is the art of the possible, and this is what Iowa could get at this moment. We have to take this thing in steps.
Incidentally, this is why I always describe myself as a “small-l libertarian” and generally vote Republican. The GOP is less horrible than the Democrats, and the national Libertarian Party just seems to be all too willing to fall on their swords; they’ve gotten very good at that and not very good at anything else. That, plus their “open border” policy, loses them a lot of support.
Frankly they should all be taking a closer look at Iowa right now.
I’m just going to leave you all with this.