Princeton Studies Iowa’s Education Savings Accounts

Princeton, New Jersey — A Princeton University study of Iowa’s state-funded accounts for students in about half of Iowa’s private schools has found tuition rates for kindergarteners went up between 21 and 25 percent more than kindergarten tuition in Nebraska’s private schools. Democrats say the study shows the taxpayer-funded accounts are a windfall for private schools. House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights says the state spent 180 million dollars on the program this year.

Senate President Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton, is an advocate of Iowa’s Educational Savings Accounts program. She says private school tuition increases are likely due to inflation.

The Princeton study found tuition in dozens of Iowa private schools for students in first through 12th grades went up 10 to 16 percent. Sinclair says the study is deeply flawed because researchers were unable to get information about tuition rates for all of Iowa’s private K-through-12 schools.

Sinclair and Konfrst made their comments during recent appearances on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS. The 2024 Iowa legislature approved a two-and-a-half percent increase in general state funding for Iowa’s public schools, along with funding to raise starting salaries for public school teachers to 50 thousand dollars within two years.


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