Letter to the editor: Education savings accounts will starve rural districts


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)


  1. I have no problem with private schools and home schooling up until high school. I don’t believe in certifying or even recognizing anything other than public schools and public school curriculum for high school. Only the Amish should be exempted. If you want to participate in our political system, join our military or pursue any education or job training requiring state certification, you should be a graduate of a public high school. You are free to separate yourself from society at large like the Amish, but only graduates of public high schools should be acknowledged for participation in society at large. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

    • Actually, most of the public schools were pretty darn good back in those days. I graduated from Ottumwa High in 1973. Our curriculum was second to none. Besides, if the public schools were funded and run like they used to be, there’d be no demand for private schools. Nothing personal but most of the impetus behind home schooling and private schools is on account of religion and racism. The kids all need to learn right away how to accept and live with those different from themselves. No, if it takes eliminating private schools to improve the quality of the public schools, I’d do that.

  2. “Everyone needs to be on the same page.” Sounds like something a dictator would say, like Hitler. Everyone needs to read and understand the U.S. Constitution and where its inspiration came from and what freedom and liberty actually means and where it comes from. Nothing in the Constitution says that the federal government has jurisdiction over education. It’s solely the jurisdiction of the states and, ultimately, local communities. That’s what the Constitution says. But this is what happens when liberal progressives get their hands on something. It becomes a power issue. “You will be made to care” is the message they send. Really? Is this how you “win” an argument? We are a constitutional republic. It’s about time we start getting back to acting like one and interpreting the U.S. Constitution as it was intended to be interpreted when it was written.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here