The Davenport School Board will hold a special open meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to vote on a resolution to oppose Senate File 159 that calls for taxpayer-funded private tuition assistance for students attending struggling schools, expands Iowa’s public charter school program and eliminates school diversity programs.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican supporters say the legislation would provide more options for Iowa students and families, particularly those students who are in schools that are under-performing.
Democrats and public-education advocates argue the measure will weaken the state’s public school system by creating more competition for state funding.
The governor’s plan provides up to $5,260 in state scholarships to cover private school or home-schooling tuition and other expenses.
Davenport officials have said the legislation will weaken Davenport schools by diverting tax dollars from schools that already are underfunded.
An analysis by the nonpartisan Iowa Legislative Services Agency projects the scholarships would result in a loss of $2.1 million in state aid and local property tax revenue for Iowa public schools in the first year, $3.1 million in the second year and $3.8 million in the third year. Iowa spends more than $3 billion annually on K-12 public education.
The LSA analysis is based on a projection that 3.5% to 6.5% of eligible students would apply for and receive scholarships.
People may attend the meeting in YouTube at https://youtu.be/-0kugABgZA0