Ask lawmakers to vote against ESAs

The buzz words, “school choice” and a voucher called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are here. What’s at risk? Iowa’s nationally recognized education — a reason why families stay in Iowa and families move here.

ESAs are worth thousands of tax dollars and have limited/no rules. Iowa public schools must follow all rules to receive these tax dollars. This is a double standard. If you take state education money, you must follow all state education rules.

ESAs don’t improve results. Iowa’s students already outpace the six states with ESAs. Gov. Kim Reynolds sited data ranking Iowa No. 8 in the nation in education. With that data, states with ESAs are ranked at the bottom.

ESAs will hurt rural students. Public and private schools will share state education money. This means less money available for public schools and limited options for rural students to even use a voucher.

Most Iowans want their current schools working better, including more students being job ready. We need to focus on the choice 94 percent of Iowans made — public education. Ask legislators to vote no for ESAs. Let’s make Iowa’s public schools No. 1 again.

Shanda Carstens

Lead volunteer

Parents for Great Iowa Schools

Des Moines

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