Hopefully, you are enjoying the weather and enjoying the outdoors.
The Cedar Falls City and School Election Day are coming up, on November 7, 2023. You can get more information on how to vote, absentee voting, candidates, polling locations, etc. at blackhawkcountyelections.iowa.gov. ✔
#BlackHawkCounty #CedarFalls #Voting
In the Statehouse Newsletter, you will find information about:
1. New Voucher Scheme Costly to Iowa’s Public Schools.
2. City and School Board Elections November 7th.
3. Capitol and Community Updates.
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Going forward, I will be listening and working closely with local leaders and community members, to make sure the state is partnering with those in our community who need help and assistance. I’m available by email, phone, and social media, to answer questions and listen to your concerns. You can always reach me by email or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I appreciate hearing from you and I thank you for your continued support.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Statehouse News. Please keep in touch!
New Voucher Scheme Costly to Iowa’s Public Schools
Last week, the Reynolds Administration announced that $142 million in Iowa tax dollars will be sent to private schools this year under Iowa’s new voucher law.
According to the Iowa Department of Education, 18,893 private school vouchers were approved this school year. The final cost to taxpayers is $35 million more than expected. For the current school year, Iowa public schools received an increase of just $95 million.
Iowans want their legislators to focus on the real issues facing our students today. That means strengthening public schools, addressing Iowa’s teacher shortage, getting students the one-on-one attention, they deserve, and expanding school-based mental health services to support students.
Instead, despite widespread opposition from Iowans, vouchers were approved last session by Governor Reynolds and Republican lawmakers and took effect for the 2023-2024 school year. Public schools are already seeing the impacts of fewer investments as more tax dollars are being taken away from public schools and given to private schools instead.
For this school year, the voucher amount is equal to the State Cost Per Pupil or $7,635. For a student to use the voucher, they must be enrolled in a private school. Official private school enrollment numbers are set to be released in December.
According to data released by the Reynolds Administration, 60% of students who have applied for the Republicans’ new voucher program already attend private schools. Many of them are from bigger cities including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, giving the largest profits to many private schools in metro areas. Fifteen counties will hoard nearly $100 million of the voucher money.
Public schools are at the heart of our communities so we must adequately invest in them. Iowa House Democrats stay committed to putting public schools first and hold Republicans accountable.
City and School Board Elections November 7th
Iowans are encouraged to participate in their local elections for city councils, mayors, and school boards this November 7.
With so much at stake in our local and school board elections, it’s more important than ever to show up at the polls. Our local school boards influence the quality of education in your community. School boards also determine education policy, funding distribution, professional salaries and benefits, and working conditions.
Critical decisions are made at the local level and it is incumbent on the men and women who work in public education to advocate for candidates who support strong public schools.
Under Iowa’s new law, voters who do not participate in the most recent general election are moved to an “inactive” status. While inactive voters can still cast a ballot in the next two general elections, failure to do so could lead to full removal from the voter rolls. This law created a pathway for a practice known as a voter registration purge. Make sure you are registered to vote.
Iowans can now request an absentee ballot from their auditor’s office until Monday, October 23rd from their local auditor. Polls are open from 7 am-8 pm on November 7th.
Capitol and Community Updates
UNION RECERTIFICATION UNDERWAY: Public employees are reminded to vote to recertify their local union from October 10- 24, a non-vote is counted as a “no.” Make sure you vote!
NEW TAX FORMS RELEASED FOR 2023: The release of the tax forms and related summaries of tax form changes will allow tax preparers sufficient time to develop and test the new forms before tax filing season.
GOP BUDGET FAVORS LARGE CORPORATIONS: Instead of lowering costs for Iowans and investing in our public schools, Republican legislators are consistently choosing to give handouts to millionaires and the biggest corporations. State available revenue is projected to be $268.6 million less in FY 25 than FY 23, meaning less money for schools, health care, and child care costs.
DEER HUNTING STARTING IN IOWA: Hunters must report their harvest to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by midnight after it is tagged or before taking it to a locker or taxidermist by texting 1-800-771-4692, online, by phone, or by using the Go Outdoors Iowa app.
SUMMIT PIPELINE HEARING STARTING NOV. 6: The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) announced public evidentiary hearings for Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed pipeline permit will resume November 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. in Fort Dodge.