Editor:

Gov. Reynolds is currently rushing through “School Choice” legislation that will irreparably damage public education in Iowa. Gov. Reynolds and senators pushing SF159 would like you to believe that it will improve options for parents, but it harms public schools, especially those in rural areas.

Are for profit charter schools good for Iowa? No. Charter schools are not held to the same educational standards as public schools and can pick and choose only the students that they want. When you reduce the number of students in public schools, you also reduce their funding. This is devastating for smaller districts already struggling with declining enrollment. Get ready for more consolidation and longer bus rides if this happens.  

Another piece of the legislation is a voucher program for students to leave low performing schools. For several years the governor and Republican legislators have had complete control of the Iowa educational system and the power to improve those schools. Instead of working to change them, now they’re trying to pass the buck and let someone else deal with the problem.   

Gov. Reynolds states that she talked with “people” and this is what they want. But she has held zero public meetings for us to know what “people” she is talking about. (Last) week the Senate held committee meetings and the public response has been overwhelming against the bill. The Senate continues to shove it along even with all of the negative comments.

Don’t just believe me. Talk to your neighbor that’s a teacher or contact a school board member. I have yet to hear from any of them that support this harmful legislation. Then, let your state senator or representative know that they should refuse to let this destructive legislation harm your local schools.

Bob Gertson

Oxford Junction