Online Applications Open Soon For State-Funded Accounts For Private School Expenses

Statewide Iowa — Wednesday May 31st is the first day low income Iowa parents may apply for state-funded accounts to cover a child’s private school expenses.

The New York based company hired to run the program will check Iowa income tax returns to verify eligibility. Odyssey CEO Joseph Connor says if a parent did not file a tax return, they’ll be asked to upload some other evidence of their income.

The governor and most Republicans in the legislature voted this spring to make about $7,600 available to low income parents who enroll their child in a private K-12 school. Odyssey, the company managing the program, will first make tuition payments directly to the schools. If money’s left over, it must be used on approved expenses like books, software or tutoring available through Odyssey’s website.

The company has been holding online workshops for interested parents this week, with one scheduled on Tuesday.

Applications for the state-funded Education Savings Accounts must be filed online. In the program’s first year, the money may be used for private school students in a household at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line. That’s about $90,000 for a family of four. In three years, all parents, regardless of income, can seek the state money to cover private school expenses, however private schools are not required to accept students.



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