Act now: Tell your lawmaker NO on vouchers
Governor's proposal threatens Iowa's commitment to free, universal public education
Legislative leaders are moving quickly — recklessly — to move Gov. Reynolds' proposal for private-school vouchers. The House is scheduled to the debate its version of the bill (HF 68) this coming Monday, and the Senate is expected to debate its version (SF 94) early next week as well.
You can make a difference in stopping this bill. Email your state representative and senator TODAY and tell them to oppose private-school vouchers.
Because lawmakers are not meeting at the Capitol again till Monday, email is the best way to reach them over the weekend.
Find your Representative and Senator and their contact information here. Click through to the legislative website for their email address.
Here's some language to get started:
"Dear Representative/Senator [last name,
"My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I'm a constituent. I’m writing to ask you to oppose private-school vouchers because ... .”
Here are some reasons you can write about:
Vouchers divert public dollars from public schools, which serve 90% of Iowa students and are accountable to parents, communities and the taxpayers who fund them.
Vouchers don’t offer families real choice. Private schools pick and choose who they accept. Public schools are charged with accepting ALL students, no matter their race, religion, income, disability status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Vouchers are expensive — over $340 million a year when fully phased in, according to its boosters — and will contribute to a coming budget crisis by making new demands on the state General Fund, which is already projected to be cut by nearly $2 billion a year due to last year’s extreme income-tax cuts. We will be unable to support existing services, let alone this new obligation.
Vouchers are a radical giveaway to wealthy families already in private school. Within three years, the state would direct public dollars to private school tuition for any family, no income limits whatsoever.
Many rural communities have little to no access to private schools in the first place, which means residents’ tax dollars would go to pay for private schools in other parts of Iowa.
Remember, if you have examples from your community, do include them — lawmakers are generally most interested in how a bill will impact their own district.
Read Executive Director Anne Discher's January 17 testimony to the House Education Reform Committee
View the map showing the Iowa counties with limited or no private schools