Letters to the Editor

Education bills are wrong for Iowa

Senate File 159 passed in the Iowa Senate on Jan. 28, sending it to the House immediately. If passed, public money will be diverted to non-public schools. There is no rationale for the action. School boards, administrators, educators and the majority of Iowans didn’t ask for it. Campaigns didn’t mention vouchers to the public during the 2020 Iowa House or Senate campaign. Who wanted it? Special interests wanted it. It’s wrong for Iowa.

Senate File 160 passed through both the Iowa Senate and House in one day, and the Governor signed it after in a process taking about a week. SF 160 cuts to the heart of Iowa school boards’ local control, a “sacred” concept in Iowa for decades. It supersedes the board’s responsibility and usurps its authority by placing it in the Governor’s Office and the Department of Education. It is now law. It’s wrong for Iowa.

This isn’t about Iowa’s students or Iowa public education system or supporting school boards, administrators, or educators. It’s about appeasing special interests. Once again public education is a pawn in a political chess game. The intention was to move them quickly before most of the public could react. Special interests 2, public education 0. It’s wrong for Iowa.

Pat Shipley

Nodaway

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