GOP-led panel OKs bill to increase online schools in Iowa

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A GOP-led legislative subcommittee has approved a bill that would allow an unlimited number of students in Iowa to enroll in for profit virtual schools that receive state education funding.

A subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee approved the bill Thursday. It now heads to the full committee.

Enrollment in virtual schools is currently capped at several hundred students in Iowa. Students from around the state are technically part of two school districts that contract with two out-of-state, for-profit companies that offer online curriculum. The system allows state education dollars to go to the companies.

Republican Sen. Amy Sinclair, the billís sponsor, says the proposal gives more students and parents additional choices over education opportunities. Some groups registered against the measure say it takes more money out of public schools.