Letters to the Editor

A scheme to transfer public wealth

The Senate Republicans are again trying to divert public funds to pay for voucher-schemes, using terms like “education savings accounts” and “state school grants” as subterfuge to trick voters. Senate Study Bill 3206/school voucher bill siphons state tax dollars to subsidize private religious-based schools. At the expense of our public schools — $4,000 annually per enrollee.

It’s no surprise that the religious right, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and Betsy DeVos are among those who support this transfer of public wealth.

Voucher schemes drain millions of dollars away from public school students, to pay the private school tuition for a select few. Voucher plans also are a deceptively-hidden way of segregating, discriminating against certain students (poor, minority, special needs) because they are exempt from federal civil rights laws (vouchers began in the south, after Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, to create “legal” segregation).

Democracy is built on the framework of public schools. Not on school privatization schemes. The agendas are different: one is for all children; the other is for profit, a transfer of public wealth.

How is it, that at a time when Iowa’s Republican policies have put our state budget in the red, and they’ve cut $10.9 million from higher education and they can’t afford to invest more than a measly 1 percent in our nearly 500,000 public school students, they feel justified in using taxpayer money to subsidize their voucher-scheme?

Public education brings Americans together, integrating our society.

Let your legislators know you are adamantly against Senate Study Bill 3206.

Susie Petra

Retired educator

Ames

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