Home schooling left out of ‘school choice’ bill – KTIV Siouxland’s News Channel

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – School choice continues to be a big topic in Iowa. An at-home school expert says their part of the educational system is being left out of Iowa’s new educational savings accounts.

Students must be enrolled in a private school to receive the benefit. According to an expert we spoke with, home school students would not be eligible for the education savings account unless they enrolled in a school like Bishop Heelan and that same expert says that catch in the law might defeat the purpose of homeschooling for some parents.

“But navigating how that looks like going forward is a question because initially to be even enrolled in this system, you would also have to be enrolled in one of these nonpublic institutions,” said Lauren Gideon, an area representative for Classical Conversations, a homeschooling group.

Gideon says home school students would have to at least partially enroll in a private school to receive about $7,600 in state funds for education expenses. She envisions a system in which private schools enroll home school students for a fee, while the students receive most of their instruction at home.

“But once you’re in that door, let’s say you spend $3,000 or so towards that initial enrollment a part-time. Well, now you have $4,000, potentially to invest on textbooks for your own home school,” said Gideon.

For their part, public schools are also left out of the new system. If a student attends public school, their family would not receive an education savings account.

“There’s some big things coming as far as down the road you know, having enough money to pay our teachers to stay here in Iowa,” said Ken Slater, the superintendent of schools for the Hinton Community School District.

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