For the second year in a row, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ attempt to divert funds from public schools to private schools has been rejected.
Iowa House President Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) confirmed to the Monks Register Monday that Reynolds’ school voucher proposal — which would have diverted $55 million in public school funding for 10,000 private scholarships — didn’t have enough support in his room.
“As for the school choice bill that the governor has proposed, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to muster the votes in the House this year to pass it,” Grassley told the Register. “Obviously we want to keep working with the governor to get something done.”
The Iowa legislature has been deadlocked for weeks as Reynolds tried to pressure House Republicans to vote for his voucher bill. Senate File 2369 passed by the Iowa Senate 31-18, with State Sen. Annette Sweeney (R-Alden) joining Democrats in opposing the measure.
“It just didn’t fit our rural environment,” Sweeney told the ITimes Citizen newspaper based in owa Falls.
The news was celebrated by a number of Iowa Democrats and their affiliates on social media.
“Public money is for public schools,” read a tweet from Iowa House Democrats. “Iowans understand, Kim Reynolds still refuses to listen.”
— Iowa Democrats (@iowahousedems) May 23, 2022
“Heard a loud knocking on doors from people of all political affiliations – Iowans don’t want vouchers,” tweeted State Sen. Sara Trone Garriot (D-West Des Monks “I’m glad those representatives listened.”
Knocking on doors I heard resoundingly from people of all political affiliations – Iowans don’t want vouchers. I’m glad those representatives listened. https://t.co/cGnfCWf4OQ
— Sarah Trone Garriott (@SarahforIowa) May 23, 2022
BPrior to Monday’s loss, Reynolds had taken a number of steps to try to drum up support for his voucher bill, which also aligns with his parent-focused campaign re-election strategy, inspired by the running for governor of Virginia last year.
According to KCRG, Reynolds held a meeting in April with seven rural Iowa school superintendents to try to drum up support for his voucher bill, which, again, would divert funds from public schools to schools. private.
MMCRU Superintendent Dan Barkel was the one who briefed KCRG on the meeting. His district is the byproduct of a sharing agreement between the Remsen-Union School District of Northwest Iowa and Marcus-Meridian-Cleghorn, the latter of which was the result of several consolidations of rural school districts over the years. years.
Barkel told KCRG that Reynolds said his plan would create a more competitive environment between public and private schools.
Lobbyists for most education groups in Iowa, including the Iowa Area Education Agencies, the Iowa Association of School Boards, the Iowa State Education Association, the Rural School Advocates of Iowa, and the School Administrators of Iowa oppose the bill.
Reynolds also made the unusual move to endorse a House District 37 primary candidate. The governor gave official endorsement to Barb Kniff McCulla over incumbent Rep. voucher law.
Reynolds also handed out packages of pro vouchers during a secret meeting with Linn-Mar School District parents earlier this month.
The governor previously told the Register that if her voucher bill didn’t pass this year, she would — pending re-election against Democrat Deidre DeJear in the fall — reintroduce the proposal the year next. That’s something State Senator, Minority Leader Zach Wahls (D-Cedar Rapids) noted in his remarks.
“The people of Iowa have made their voices heard loud and clear: Public money is for public schools,” he said in a statement.
“Make no mistake about it – if senses Waylon Brown, Jake Chapman, Chris Cournoyer, Dawn Driscoll and Jack Whitver are re-elected in 2022, Kim Reynolds’ private school voucher scam will pass the next session. This is what this election is about.
by Ty Rushing
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