Education, legislative officials react to Students First Act

DES MOINES — Iowa legislators enacted a new law early this week establishing “Education Savings Accounts,” or ESAs, as functional vouchers for students enrolling in private schools.

Advocates for the bill — called the Students First Act — included Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who said it would help equalize access to high quality education.

“Public schools are the foundation of our education system and for most families they will continue to be the option of choice, but they aren’t the only choice,” Reynolds said in a news release after signing the bill. “For some families, a different path may be better for their children. With this bill, every child in Iowa, regardless of ZIP code or income, will have access to the school best suited for them.”

In a speech immediately before the bill’s signing, Reynolds said it was try or die for the state’s gradually sinking education performance.

“We’re rejecting the idea that the answer to improving education is simply pumping more money into the same system, year after year, without making significant changes,” she said. “We are putting an end to the notion that competition is a zero-sum game.”

Kim Reynolds by Embajada de los Estados is licensed under flickr Creative Commons
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