Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 30, 2017

Questions about school vouchers

By Steve Presley | Feb 23, 2017

To the editor:

I attended the Chamber Legislative forum in Fairfield on Feb. 18. Due to the large turnout, I was unable to ask my questions. Here’s what I wanted to say:

First of all, thank you to Rep. Curt Hanson, Rep. Dave Heaton and Sen. Rich Taylor for voting no on the bill passed and signed by the governor that destroys collective bargaining for teachers and other public servants.

My questions for Sen. Mark Chelgren were: regarding your support of private school vouchers and education savings accounts, will the state of Iowa require that any private pre-school through 12th grade school receiving taxpayer money be required to accept and serve students with disabilities (IEPs/504 plans)?

Will these same private schools be required to transport students from their homes to the private schools of choice? How will it be determined who gets to attend a state-supported private school? Is it up to the private school? Isn’t this potentially a return to school segregation?

Finally, Mr. Chelgren, how much will your education savings account program cost the Iowa taxpayers? Rep. Heaton stated that the cost would be $230 million.

Why should Iowa taxpayers pay upper income families to send their children to private schools?

My suggestion is to fully fund public schools in Iowa. Instead of referring to schools as failing, give teachers, administrators, and school board what they need to help all students succeed and excel in their public schools.

Encourage them! This would be the right thing to do.

 

– Steve Presley, Fairfield

 

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