Northwest Iowa — After this week’s signing of Governor Kim Reynolds’ “School Choice” bill into law, northwest Iowa public school superintendents are unsure to hopeful about the future.
The new law is expected to give $345 million to parents to send their students to private schools. It will provide state-funded accounts for the parents of private school students. In the first year, low-income parents who enroll a child in a private school could apply for nearly $7600 in state funding to cover tuition, computers, textbooks, and tutoring. In 2026, all private school parents could apply for the state money. According to school officials, the $7600 represents the entire amount that the district gets from the state per pupil, per year. However, the districts will get $1200 per year per pupil for pupils whose parents have elected to send them to private schools instead. Interestingly enough, depending on the district and the number of pupils CURRENTLY enrolled in private schools, it might mean an INCREASE in funding in some districts.
Sheldon Community School District Superintendent Cory Myer says, “I believe most families appreciate the high quality of education we provide in Sheldon and our families feel good about the choice they made when they enrolled in our school district.”
Sibley/Ocheyedan Community School District Superintendent James Craig says, “I really don’t have an indication about families moving to private school. Our conversations with parents are usually for open enrollment or homeschooling, so I have no idea where that will go for us.”
West Lyon Superintendent Shawn Kremen says, “It’s so hard to predict at this point, I don’t know that it will impact us a whole lot at this point, but again not sure.”
Central Lyon Superintendent Brent Jorth says, “It’s hard for me to estimate how many families will opt to attend a private school, because the choice is truly the private school’s to make. From my perspective, Central Lyon will continue to fulfill its mission to provide an exceptional education, opportunities, and resources for all students to become productive, life-long learners. Our families are very fortunate to have a teaching staff that is dedicated to empowering students to achieve at high levels as demonstrated in a track record of academic success and career readiness. Our school board and staff will continue to partner with families and our community to provide students with learning opportunities in and out of the classroom that will prepare them to be life-long learners, productive members of the community, and responsible citizens.”
Boyden-Hull Superintendent Steve Grond says, “I don’t know how it will impact Boyden-Hull and surrounding schools. We offer an excellent education at Boyden-Hull for all students, which we will continue to deliver. Overall, I believe that students and parents are pleased with the education they receive while at Boyden-Hull.”
MOC/Floyd Valley Superintendent Russ Adams says, “I am hopeful that our families recognize the outstanding quality of education they are receiving for their children at MOC-Floyd Valley, but time will tell.”