Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has made school choice a centerpiece of her administration and garnered high praise from a leading center-right news outlet.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board praised the two-term governor for pushing for school choice policies in her second term, specifically the emphasis on education savings accounts (known as ESA’s).
The board wrote that Reynolds endorsed primary challengers “to Republican state lawmakers who refused to back education savings accounts” and several won their races. As a result of her gamble, the state legislature may pass a “more robust school choice bill.”
Currently, the proposed school choice bill provides around $7,600 in ESA’s to students, for paying private-school tuition, tutoring and other education services. It is a marked increase from last year’s proposal of $5,000 in ESA funds. The board wrote, “This year’s legislation would set some caps for the first two years but remove them in 2025-26, making the program available to anyone.”
The Left complained about taxpayer dollars going to private schools, especially affecting rural school districts where private schools are not an option.
The newspaper’s editorial board concluded, “Iowa parents expressed support for the bill in public comments to the Legislature” and cited one parent who said, “An ESA would greatly benefit my ability to continue sending my current and future children to my preferred school choice… Catholic education is an imperative piece of celebrating and raising my children within my faith.”