We have published the IACS July Newsletter. It has a brief summary of this year’s legislative session, points out some issues in the news that affect our schools, and has some tips for enlarging your footprint in your community. Let us know what you think by clicking below to view/download!
The “ESEA” debate heats up today as the U.S. House begins voting on its version of the long-overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The House and Senate are working on competing versions of the bills and we expect this to be the beginning of a relatively long process.
Since the first versions of the ESEA over fifty years ago until 2001, services provided by the law were shared equitably regardless of where the child attended school. After 2001’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB), this equitable sharing of services for the benefit of children has gradually been eroded to the point where private school students are no longer receiving the same services at the same level as their public school counterparts.
H.R. 5 (the “Student Success Act”) is the House of Representatives’ version and takes the first steps in restoring equity in this area. Specifically, section 120 of H.R. 5 beings to address many of our concerns. According to the the Congressional website it includes the following provisions:
(Sec. 120) Requires states to designate an ombudsman to ensure that private school children receive educational services and benefits that are equitable to those received by public school children under subpart 1.
Directs states, rather than LEAs, to provide or arrange for the provision of such services and benefits to private schools in certain circumstances.
This is a good first step.
There are many with concerns about H.R. 5 on any number of issues. The ongoing debate over standards, parental rights and involvement, as well as the role of state and federal government in education are important debates.
The Iowa Association of Christian Schools asks that you contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to commit to supporting any provisions in a new ESEA bill that respect a parent’s choice to send their child to a nonpublic school and ensure that title funding equitably benefits children regardless of the school setting.
There will always be disagreements on the best way forward in education but we are hopeful that everyone can get behind serving these kids equitably as we have done for many decades prior to the NCLB. As long as title funding is available, government at all levels should work in partnership with parents and educators to provide the best possible education for that child without favoritism.
You may now download the latest newsletter from IACS here:
The IACS March 2015 Newsletter is now available. Please read and share!
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Email your legislators in support of ESAs! There are great ESA bills getting attention in the House and the Senate! Please contact your Representative and your Senator now.
In the Senate, Senator Jerry Behn has introduced SF 240, similar to last session’s bill, which would create a universal ESA program in Iowa. This bill is co-sponsored by every Republican in the Senate. In the House, more than one version of an ESA bill (including HF 313) is pending, so we would just like you to contact House members to let them know you support ESAs, and asking for their position on ESAs. You will have the opportunity to edit and send two messages (one to your Senator and one to your Representative) using this easy action alert system. Please customize your emails as the wording provided is just a suggestion!
If you have already sent a message using the Iowa ACE system, we are not asking you to send another now. We’ll keep you in the loop on the latest developments through future emails, action alerts, and via our website and social media accounts.
THANK YOU! Please share this alert with others and we hope to see you on Tuesday, March 2 at the Capitol for our Noon rally in support of school choice! More info is on our website at www.iowachristianschools.org.
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
Need more info on ESAs? CLICK HERE to see a video with the details.