Newspaper: Iowa used public funds for private schools

A newspaper’s analysis shows Iowa has spent nearly $500 million in public money in the past decade to support private schools and home-school programs.

The Des Moines Register found that state money goes toward supporting private-school operations through busing assistance, textbook purchases, special education funding and scholarship support. The state also offers a tax credit for those who pay private-school tuition.

Figures from the Legislative Services Agency also show that the state’s annual spending on nonpublic education grew from about $34 million in 2008 to roughly $53 million in 2018.

Mike Beranek is the president of the Iowa teachers union. He says public schools are hurt when private education gets state money.

Republican Rep. Walt Rogers is chairman of the Iowa House Education Committee. He says there’s a growing trend to support people who are choosing different options.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com