Vouchers Toolkit

Vouchers: Wrong for Iowa

Graphic: Vouchers: Wrong for Iowa

Student First Scholarships are the wrong public policy for Iowa and an inappropriate use of public tax dollars.

First, student first scholarships are vouchers. Plain and simple. Unlike a true savings account, parents do not open the account and put in their own money. The proposal gives selected parents a taxpayer-funded debit card loaded with state taxpayer dollars to use however they wish. We agree that parents should have the choice to enroll their child in a private or religious school. But not with public taxpayer funds.

Parents & Community members: Get Involved

Use this toolkit to learn more about vouchers and their impact on public schools. Then, follow the steps we've outlined to make your voice heard and spread the word in your community that vouchers are wrong for Iowa!

Get Involved Today

Talking Points to use with Legislators

Use public dollars for public schools. Period. The public’s investment should be used to support public community schools which are open to all students regardless of race, religion, gender, socio-economic status and disability, not for a new entitlement program for parents who choose private education.  

Public funds require public accountability and transparency.
Public schools are overseen by a publicly elected citizen governing board, are required to report academic results to the general public, have an annual public financial audit, and be transparent with all expenditures and decision-making. Private and religious schools are not held to that same public standard. Taxpayers have a right to know how their funds are being used, but are left in the dark about the use and impact of voucher funds.

A slippery slope toward a costly and expansive voucher program: This voucher program may start small, but as we've seen in other states, once a program is established, it is easy to expand. This will pull more resources away from public schools.


Map of Private Schools in Iowa—This maps shows where private schools are located in Iowa and which legislative district they are in. Show your legislators that rural students will not benefit from a voucher program and public schools are their best and only choice.

Map of Voucher Eligible School Buildings—This map shows where school buildings are identified in need of comprehensive support and improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), making their students eligible for the voucher program in Iowa. The map compares where those schools are located to the location of private schools that a voucher could be used to attend.

SF 159 —The governor's proposed omnibus education bill, which includes the creation of a voucher program in Iowa. The bill calls the educational savings accounts "Student First Scholarships."

IASB Summary of Governor Reynolds' Proposed Voucher Program—Read a breakdown of the main points included in the governor's bill, SF 159, as well as changes that have been made since the bill was first introduced.

IASB Testimony on SSB 1065—Read the testimony IASB submitted to the subcommittee detailing the reasons we oppose the bill.  

Private School Funding History—A history of funding for private schools in Iowa and nationwide.

School Vouchers: Costly & Expansive Infographic—See how vouchers have expanded in other states.

Advocacy Video—Watch and share this video to tell your legislators to vote 'NO' on private school vouchers!
Watch IASB's animated video on YouTube!
Sample Board Resolution—A sample resolution your board can use to make a statement that vouchers are wrong for Iowa. 

Social Media Graphics

Download and share social media graphics opposing vouchers. Help spread awareness that vouchers, by any name, are wrong for Iowa.

Download this social media graphic below!

Tell Your Legislator to Vote No on School Vouchers in Iowa.

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Download this social media graphic below!

Public Dollars for Public Schools. Period.

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IASB’s advocacy campaign is directed toward school board members who are in a great position to share advocacy efforts on their personal social media accounts. This is a vital message and we highly encourage them to do so! But it is not recommended that school districts use their school social media accounts or other district resources to further these advocacy efforts.