Legislators are now in the middle of debating budget bills in order to go home for the year. Iowa’s Christian schools benefit from a number of state programs and initiatives that benefit Iowa’s students that attend our schools. Line items in the state budget that impact Christian schools:
- Textbooks/technology funding
- Transportation services
- School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credits providing scholarship opportunities for low-income families
- Area Education Agency services
- Tuition tax credit (25 percent of the first $1,000 spent on education) for public and private school parents
We understand that the state budget is tighter than usual this year. The House and Senate have agreed to cut the Governor’s proposed increase of $90,000 in nonpublic textbook funding and there seems to be no forward movement on ESA, STO, or transportation this week as they look to wrap up the session.
Would you be willing to email your legislators today and ask them to seize this final opportunity of the year to pass meaningful legislation that would positively impact students in every educational setting? The Iowa Association of Christian Schools is supporting efforts to:
- Repeal the sunset provision in the Independent Accreditation, ensuring Iowa’s private schools can remain accountable to taxpayers in a way that meets their unique needs and pushes them to higher levels of academic excellence.
- Restore funding of textbooks and technology for nonpublic school students that was cut back several years ago and hasn’t been restored.
- Increase funding for transportation services for nonpublic school students. Currently the state limits this funding to about 80 percent of claims. The original purpose of the funding was to make sure students get to school safely.
Christian school parents and their children save the state millions of dollars as they cover most of the cost of private school education themselves and still contribute to the public school funding through local property, income, and sales tax.
We believe parents have the right to choose the type of education that best fits their child’s needs regardless of their income or address. Please ask your legislators to create the conditions necessary to exercise this right.
Please send a message to your legislator on these issues. We encourage you to edit the message and put it in your own words. Thanks for being willing to get involved!