Every child deserves a fair and equal opportunity to excel in school. For parents, that means having the ability to choose a school best suited to their child’s needs. Unfortunately, not all families have that choice.
For many families, the ability to choose the educational option that best fits their student is dependent on Iowa’s School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program (STO). The STO Program awards grants to families who cannot afford non-public education without financial help. To date, the STO Program helps nearly 11,000 students each year attend schools they normally wouldn’t be able to access. However, there is a cap on the STO tax credit. So, families are turned down each year, leaving children unable to receive the education they deserve.
Expanding the STO Program’s cap will give thousands of families access to financial support and the ability to choose the best educational option for their child. I urge everyone to reach out to your legislator and ask for their support in expanding the STO Program in Iowa.
Parents and school supporters in Northwest Iowa and throughout the state should want the best for all students, regardless of whether parents choose public or non-public schools. All students and parents should be treated alike where the law now permits, and new laws should work toward that end. The fair financial treatment of non-public students is long overdue. Expanding the STO Program would be a step in the right direction. In 2019, legislators can make this happen. - Marion Van Soelen, Hull, Iowa