School Choice Bill Endorsed by Gov. Reynolds Heads to Iowa Senate Floor

DES MOINES, Iowa - An education bill supported by Governor Kim Reynolds is moving through the Iowa Senate.

The bill would use public tax-payer money to support students who want to attend private schools.

It's been passed by a committee and now heads to the Senate floor.

Governor Reynolds endorsed the bill during her Condition of the State speech earlier this month.

The measure is part of her plan for school choice, which also calls for school districts to offer an option for 100 percent in-person classes.

The bill passed on the committee level Wednesday would apply to students in underperforming schools that receive federal money because of a failure to reach achievement benchmarks.

About 10,000 students at 34 Iowa schools would qualify for the program which would create education saving accounts to be used for private school education.

It's known as Senate File 159. It would also create a charter school program and let students transfer out of districts that currently don't allow transfers.

The bill is strongly opposed by the Democratic minority in the legislature, which is against the use of public money on private schools. Republicans say the measure allows students to seek a better option to failing public schools.

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