Testing Change Proposed In Students First Act

Des Moines, Iowa — Republicans in the Iowa House are proposing a change in a state law passed just two weeks ago.

Under that new law, private school students whose parents get state-funded savings accounts are required to take all required state and federal tests. The bill would keep the requirement for the annual Iowa Statewide Assessment of Students Progress, but it would be up to a private school parent to decide if their child takes other tests to track their literacy skills. Eric Goranson, a lobbyist for the Iowa Association of Christian Schools, says the proposed change in the new law is a pleasant surprise.

Opponents of the proposal say the literacy tests gauge a student’s progress in reading and comprehension and will give policymakers a chance to compare how public and private school students getting state support are progressing. Representative Molly Buck, a Democrat from Ankeny, says the testing is about making sure schools are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Republican Representative Taylor Collins of Mediapolis voted for the change as it was considered in a House subcommittee.

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfst says the testing requirements led some reluctant Republicans to vote for the new law.

Governor Reynolds was at the American Enterprise Institution in Washington, D.C. to discuss her “Students First” program on Friday afternoon. When fully implemented, it will let any family apply for state funds to cover private school expenses.



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