To the editor:
Will we see more rural school consolidation after this year’s legislative session?
The Education Savings Grant Program has been introduced in the state legislature by which parents would receive taxpayers dollars when their children transfer from public schools to a private school or are home schooled. Presumably, this would take dollars away from public schools.
Currently, home-schooled children are unregulated in Iowa. Therefore, there would be no accountability regarding how these tax dollars would be spent as well as the unknown factor of children meeting educational standards.
For those who want to choose private schools, how many charter schools are going to pop up in rural Iowa? In the meantime, public schools will receive less money.
Small rural schools that need a bigger share for their transportation costs but will have their budgets squeezed even tighter.
If more education tax dollars go to private businesses and individual families, will public school consolidation accelerate? After rural schools are consolidated by county, do we then consolidate by region? How many square miles are too big for a school district?
Julie Stewart (Ziesman)