Area School Districts Discuss the Student Savings Program

With the passage of a student savings system in Iowa, area districts now must examine the process and if it is beneficial to the district and/or the student. The measure would allot money to the district for the student who resides in the district but chooses not to attend school there. The student would be able to use the funding to attend a private school of their choice. For Lake Mills Community Schools Superintendent Chris Rogne, the effects are not being felt.

Lake Mills Schools Superintendent Chris Rogne

This new voucher program will take public tax dollars to buy an education in the private sector at the kindergarten thru 12th grade level. There are other avenues open to local students that avoid losing these monies to the private sector. Open enrollment is a process that is used by area parents for their students that allows them to attend a neighboring school district. Rogne stated that he sees a small number of students take advantage of this by entering into his district.

GHV Schools Superintendent Ken Kasper

One of the biggest problems for rural areas such as northern Iowa is the lack of available private institutions that would provide K-12 education. The measure signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds now gives students in metropolitan areas a greater number of choices than their rural counterparts.

Ken Kasper is the Superintendent for the Garner Hayfield Ventura Community School District. His position echoes that of other district superintendents in keeping public monies in the public sector. He already sees an influx of students coming into his district but also knows that there may be those who would exit it too.

Kasper is a firm believer that the open enrollment process works in favor of the students and parents. Districts are compelled to have to accept the transferring students whereas a private institution is not required to.

West Hancock School Superintendent Wayne Kronemann

In the long run, area districts could face a loss in revenue. While districts will receive monies for children in their district who would otherwise attend their schools but opt for private schools, there are still revenue streams where money would be lost.

Wayne Kronemann is the Superintendent of the West Hancock Community School District. He explained that these revenue streams are vital to the success of the students and the district.

While this new voucher system may appear to be leaning in favor of students particularly in metropolitan districts because of choice, it may also harm the affected districts according to Kronemann.

North Iowa Schools Superintendent Joe Erickson

The lost revenue could mean a lesser number of skilled teachers, classroom materials, and other items which are essential to a quality education.

North Iowa Community Schools Superintendent Joe Erickson, whose district serves the communities of Buffalo Center, Lakota, Thompson, and Rake is very concerned about the potential losses in revenue and where local tax dollars are actually going.

His district has seen a natural balance in the open enrollment system.

His district reflects a similar scenario throughout the area without the need for a voucher system.






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