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LMCSD Public Statement Regarding Vouchers and Charter Schools

LMCSD Public Statement Regarding Vouchers and Charter Schools

(SF159 – Now HSB 243, HSB 242, and HSB 240)

Governor Kim Reynolds’ School Choice Omnibus Bill outlined reforms for school vouchers and charter schools. The bill, formerly entitled Senate File 159 and Senate Study Bill 1065 (Click here for a direct link), was heavily discussed over the last week and advanced quickly through the Senate subcommittee and committee meetings. The bill was approved by the Senate on January 28th and moved to the House, beginning in the House Education Committee as the following three bills (Click on each link below for additional information):

These bills have many components that directly impact public education:

Vouchers (House Study Bill 243)

Public investment in Student First Scholarships, also known as education savings accounts or vouchers, enables students to use Public tax dollars to cover educational costs for attending Private schools. While HSB243 is currently a small bill, it can easily be expanded, as has happened in other states. This potential expansion would lead to more resources being diverted from public schools to funding private school and homeschool expenses with taxpayer dollars.

Voucher programs in other states have led to drastic cuts in public education, an exodus of teachers leaving the state, and reduced test scores on state tests. Also, a recent Federal Department of Education review of a DC voucher plan after three years showed no improvement of learning for any subgroup.

Charter Schools (House Study Bill 242)

This bill would allow charter schools to be created either by a school board or private entity. Private entity, if approved by the State, would use Public funds while having no local oversight or approval by a publicly elected school board which are required to have an annual public audit, report academic results to the public, and must be transparent with spending and decision-making.

Open Enrollment and Diversity Plans (House Study Bill 240)

This bill would remove diversity plans for some larger school districts, change considered criteria for open enrollment, and revise how certified enrollment numbers are used to determine school funding. By using an average enrollment number, growing districts like Linn-Mar could see less funding while enrolling more students.

Linn-Mar Community School District Board of Education Letter Regarding HSB 243, HSB 242, and HSB 240 Click here to read the letter.

Getting Involved

Below are several resources to reference. We encourage you to express your opinions and ideas to our legislators: