Dems: Supporting the education of all Iowa students

March 8, 2016

Iowa has a great education system with dedicated teachers at our public and private schools. We want to support them and all families in their educational choices.


In the most recent fiscal year, more than $40 million in state and federal funds went to increase services for Iowa students at accredited, non-public K-12 schools. Financial aid comes in many forms, including transportation funding, textbook purchases, early childhood education support, shared-time students, school lunches, tuition tax credits (up to $250 per student) and services through Area Education Agencies.


School Tuition Organizations (STOs) and a state tax credit encourage charitable giving that helps more families send their children to private schools. The program has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2006 because it’s good for students, schools and Iowans who want to give back.


Those who donate to an accredited, nonpublic K-12 school receive a 65 percent tax credit when the donation is used for educational scholarships or tuition grants to children from low-income families. STOs offer scholarships to Iowans whose household income is at or below 300 percent of federal poverty level. Students may use the scholarships at any participating nonpublic school in the state.


While a tight budget year makes requests for additional funding difficult to fulfill—for private schools, public schools and state agencies—our goal is for every Iowa student and school to succeed.


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