DES MOINES, Iowa — Family members love each other but don’t always get along. That’s essentially what’s happening behind the scenes in the state legislature with Iowa Republicans, a freshman Republican said. State Representative Carter Nordman of Adel said, “We look at it like a family. You have family…everyone loves each other, but there’s always fighting inside.”
Part of that fighting that’s delayed the end of this year’s legislative session involves a priority for Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican. It’s been a multi-year priority, actually. Reynolds wants to shift tax dollars that would normally go to public schools to instead help students transfer to private schools. Reynolds failed to convince enough lawmakers last year to back her plan, despite Republicans holding comfortable majorities in both the house and senate. She is trying again this year. But, again, she faces resistance from her own party.
The governor’s plan would allow as many as 10,000 of the state’s more than 500,000 publicly educated students to switch to private school. The senate has passed the bill. The house has so far resisted.