Headline RoundupJanuary 25th, 2023

Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Fund Private School Students With Public Money

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed legislation into law Tuesday that provides private school students with taxpayer funds.

The Details: The Students First Act will phase in over three years. It will eventually give every Iowa family an annual payment of $7,598, the average cost the state spends on a public school student, to help cover private school expenses. The bill passed the Iowa House in a 55-45 vote and the state Senate in a 31-18 vote on Monday. 

For Context: Iowa joins West Virginia and Arizona as states with similar school choice measures. The program is expected to cost $345 million annually by its fourth year, according to an analysis from the Legislative Services Agency.

How the Media Covered It: Left- and center-rated sources often focused more on how much the program is expected to cost the state. A report from Associated Press highlighted one education administrator who argued that "research shows that on average, students who leave public schools usually don’t benefit," and others who argued the plan would worsen funding issues for certain districts. Right-rated sources typically highlighted the law's passage more prominently and framed it as good news. A New York Post opinion (Right bias) writer celebrated how "For the first time, every Iowa family will soon have the power to customize its children’s education."

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