GOOD PROGRESS MADE ON SCHOOL VOUCHERS!!

3-1-17

Greetings, Legislature Education Committees and all—

Translations in the following table of excepts from democrat Mark Smith’s ‘newsletter’ show good progress is being made on school vouchers for student gains!!

GOOD PROGRESS MADE ON SCHOOL VOUCHERS FOR STUDENT GAINS

TRANSLATIONS OF PROPAGANDA AND WHINING'S FROM HOUSE DEMOCRAT LEADER, MARK SMITH, SHOW REPUBLICANS ARE MAKING GOOD PROGRESS ON SCHOOL VOUCHERS FOR STUDENT GAINS.    Source:  Mark Smith and Iowalive  3-1-17

PROPAGANDA AND WHINING'S FROM HOUSE DEMOCRAT LEADER--MARK SMITH’S ‘NEWS’ LETTER

TRANSLATION & RATIONALE

According to the special interests running the show for Republicans at the State Capitol these days, the next priority of the Iowa Legislature will be vouchers that siphon funding from public schools and give it to home schools and private schools.

Competition works!!  Vouchers would likely raise average student achievement by at least 4%, at no net cost increase, within 3 years.   This would upset the evil ISEA teacher union and other campaign contributors to democrats.

 

 

They convinced a Republican Senator to introduce their bill and it may get a hearing yet this week....  .

Republicans are making good progress now that democrat obstacles to progress Gronstal, Schoenjahn and Sodders are gone from the senate.

 

 

While many Iowans are just taking note this year, the special interests behind the voucher movement in Iowa, who call it “school choice,” have been quietly laying the groundwork for years.  They created an “alliance” of local and national private school, homeschool, and voucher advocates.  They started coordinating efforts, lined up other corporate special interest groups, and hired a lobbyist to raise and then donate tens of thousands of dollars to Republican lawmakers.

Voucher advocates organized employers to help improve student a achievement  and other skills needed to serve Iowa's work force.

 

 

In 2013, voucher advocates held public school funding hostage in the Legislature and demanded radical reforms on homeschooling in Iowa. Now homeschool students are completely exempt from reporting data to local schools districts and they can even skip tests that examine proficiency.  Today, there’s virtually no state oversight over homeschool students.

Homeschool students are escaping the obstacles to progress imposed by democrats and ISEA.

 

 

The initial investment by the alliance paid off again when two Republican lawmakers -- Rep. Peter Cownie and Rep. Chris Hagenow -- offered one of the first voucher bills (they call them “Education Savings Accounts”) that allowed students to take the state per pupil money invested for them in public schools and transfer it for use at a private, religious, or home school instead.  A few years later, their investment tripled when Rep. Hagenow became the House Majority Leader, a position he still has today. 

 Rep. Peter Cownie and Rep. Chris Hagenow are providing superior leadership that benefits students.

 

 

Fast forward to this year and Republicans are in full control of the Statehouse. The special interest alliance backing vouchers got more good news when President Trump picked billionaire Betsy DeVos to be his Secretary of Education.  She‘s personally invested millions backing the voucher movement across the country and served as President of the American Federation for Children (AFC). It also turns out the AFC is one of the partners in the voucher alliance created here in Iowa.

Voters wised up and elected a  billionaire President   who appointed a billionaire Secretary of Education, neither of  whom can't be swayed by special interest money--as they put kids first. 

 

 

While the special interests behind the voucher alliance are certainly troubling, the idea of shifting money from public schools to homeschools and private schools instead is just bad public policy for Iowa. 

Insecure educators worship money and the thought of losing it for better education use is maddening!

 

 

A Des Moines Register poll out this week found Iowans overwhelmingly oppose vouchers and that’s largely because Iowans take great pride in our public schools.  92% of Iowa kids attend public schools and by most measures, our public schools are performing well given the scant state investment from Republicans for the last 7 years. We’ve got the highest graduation rate in the country and we rank near the top in college readiness tests.

The biased Register concocted a poll that tries to hide Iowa's lowest in the Midwest Student Proficiency standard and how schools manipulate students taking college readiness tests to skew results.

 

 

There’s also a growing body of research that prove vouchers just don’t work.  In Indiana, researchers found kids who used vouchers to transfer from public schools to private schools lost ground in math and saw zero improvement in reading. Another study in Louisiana found students there lost ground in both reading and math. Similar results were found yet again in a separate study of vouchers in Ohio.

Numberless claims show democrats don't know what they are talking about.  They avoid use of numbers like the plague, as they have to add up--and can be checked.

   

 

So here’s the good news. So far, the voucher bill hasn’t made it out of a House or Senate committee this year.  If it doesn’t make it out of committee by Friday, March 3rd it will be “dead” for the year. That means we can stop this bill from becoming law and protect our public schools.

There is still hope republicans will see the light and vote voucher bills out of committee for full debate.

 

Sincerely,

Iowalive     A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa