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Senator Amanda Ragan warns: “Charter schools will drain funding from Iowa’s public schools”

Senator Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing portions of Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

A bill that passed the Iowa House and is making its way through the Senate would allow for-profit businesses to create charter schools in Iowa with little local control or oversight for how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Iowa parents, educators and other taxpayers have spoken out against HF 813<https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF813>.

The bill takes money away from Iowa’s public schools and gives it to out-of-state corporations. After years of inadequate public-school funding that hasn’t kept up with inflation—not to mention the additional challenges and expenses of the pandemic—that’s an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.

Iowa already has a charter school law<https://educateiowa.gov/pk-12/options-educational-choice/charter-schools> in place, and the state offers families a wide range of school choice options:

*   Each year, about 30,000 students open enroll in another public school.
*   Many students take part in the Iowa public virtual academy.
*   State funding supports home schooling and independent private instruction.
*   Iowa’s 34,000 private school students get more than $65 million in public tax dollars every year.

Prohibiting unwanted microchipping of employees
A bill moving through the Senate—HF 259<https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF259>—would prohibit private and public employers from requiring employees to have a microchip or other device implanted on their body. In addition, the bill would prohibit employers from offering incentives to employees to get a microchip implanted.

If the bill becomes law, Iowa would join five other states in banning forced employee microchipping. Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Arkansas and Indiana already have similar prohibitions. Many Americans have privacy and health-related concerns about microchipping.

HF 259<https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF259> won unanimous approval in the Iowa House and is now ready for debate in the Senate.

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