DES MOINES, Iowa – An Iowa House proposal to rewrite the rules for forming charter schools is one step closer to surviving the second funnel week at the Statehouse.
If the proposed legislation becomes law, the so-called “founding group” could just apply for a new school through the state Board of Education. The proposal also means charter schools would receive taxpayer money for students who switch from public school districts.
Many Republicans in support of this bill believe it will let parents choose what’s best for their kids.
“All this is doing is allowing a choice, giving the control to the parent to make that decision,” says Logan Shine with Gov. Reynolds’ office.
But Democrats have expressed concern over the lack of accountability for charter schools versus public schools when taxpayer money is involved.
“When lawmakers distort the concept of local control and conflate it with a parent’s ability to choose, it is a clear misuse of the term and misleads the public,” says Connie Ryan, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
Currently, there are only two charter schools in the state.
Republicans pushed this bill through the House last week. The Senate education subcommittee passed it along party lines Tuesday and now it just needs to pass in the full Senate education committee in order to survive this week’s deadline.