Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Karen Pratte

To the Editor:

Nearly 500,000 children headed back to public school this week. And, many of our friends and neighbors headed back to work as bus drivers, cooks, custodians and teachers.

Our public schools give our children a great education and an opportunity to succeed and achieve their full potential. We know that, especially in rural communities like ours, our public schools are the heart of our community.

Unfortunately, Gov. Kim Reynolds, State Representative Anne Osmundson and State Senator Mike Klimesh chose  to weaken our public schools by giving taxpayer money to private schools ($7,635 per student who were approved for Vouchers).

Reynolds, with the help of Klimesh and Osmundson, passed this voucher scheme which diverts $142 million of our tax dollars for just the 2023-24 school year. Of that money, $100,000 million goes to private school students who live in just 15 counties. The vast majority benefiting from Vouchers are in Polk, Linn, Scott, Sioux, Black Hawk and Dubuque Counties. Meanwhile, rural public schools remain under-funded and under-appreciated by MAGA Republicans.

Imagine what public schools would look like  if the Republican-controlled legislature would invest $142 million of our taxpayer dollars into them. Ninety percent of Iowa kids would have greater opportunities.

Elections matter. If you want your tax dollars to fund public schools, vote for candidates who support our local schools and want to see our public schools and communities thrive. If you believe that private schools in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport deserve millions of our tax dollars, then keep re-electing Osmundson, Klimesh, Reynolds and MAGA Republicans.

Karen Pratte