True choice in education puts kids first

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 28 2014 | 10:26 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 4:17 am in

My four children have attended private schools for 11 years, with many years to go. Public schools received $5,500 of state aid this year for each student in their district even if that child, such as mine, did not attend.

I am for Iowa’s great public schools; I am against funding an education not received, especially if it could benefit families such as mine by providing tuition for the school of my choice.

House File 2090 would authorize the state to fund Education Savings Accounts (ESA) for non-public school students. A family’s freedom to choose how to educate their child is a constitutional right; equal use of each child’s already allocated money would make our education system stronger, our families further supported and our state even more attractive.

ESAs would enable families to make educational choices based on their child’s individual needs, regardless of economic level or where they live. We encourage healthy competition in sports and businesses, because it produces better results. Why not our schools? Shouldn’t our children be the priority — not the institutions? Public schools would retain their basic property tax levy and no empirical study has found negative outcomes, while numerous studies found “school choice” programs have actually improved outcomes.

Importantly, fraudulent protection measures are in place to avoid misuse of ESA funds. More facts at and I support 2090 with my Rep. Quentin Stanerson, offering true freedom of choice in education to all families, putting our children first.

Paulette Canney

Cedar Rapids

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