Vouchers Toolkit

Vouchers Toolkit


Student First Scholarships are the wrong public policy for Iowa and an inappropriate use of public tax dollars.

Student first scholarships are private school vouchers. Plain and simple. Unlike a true savings account, parents do not open the account and put in their own money. The proposal gives selected parents a taxpayer-funded debit card loaded with state taxpayer dollars to use however they wish. We agree that parents should have the choice to enroll their child in a private or religious school. But not with public taxpayer funds.


Contact your state representative using the ISEA Action Network tool: Vote NO on SF 159

Contact the House Education Committee members through the legislative directory: Education member list.

Tips and Reminders:

  • Please be respectful in your communications
  • Use a personal email address (not your work email)
  • Explain where you live, remind them you are their constituent
  • Get personal, share why this legislation affects you and your students


Public dollars need to go to public education. Public schools are required to admit and serve all students. This legislation would divert public funds to non-public schools, which are not required to adhere to this principle of equity.

Public funds should require accountability and transparency. Non-public schools are not held to the same standard as public schools. The absence of public accountability for public funds could contribute to waste and fraud of tax-payer dollars.

Available resources should go to support the most students. Especially at a time when our public schools are facing unprecedented challenges, available resources should go to support the more than 480,000 public school students in all 99 counties.


Map of private schools in Iowa: This map shows where private schools are located in Iowa and which legislative district they are in. Show your legislators that rural students will not benefit from a private school voucher program and in most of the state, public schools are their best and only choice.
*Map courtesy of the Iowa Association of School Boards

Map of voucher eligible school buildings: This map shows where school buildings are identified in need of comprehensive support and improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), making these students eligible for the private voucher program that every Iowan will pay for if SF 159 is enacted. In addition, this map compares where these schools are located to the location of private schools that a voucher could be used.
*Map courtesy of the Iowa Association of School Boards

SF159: The governor’s proposed omnibus education bill, which includes the creation of a private school voucher program in Iowa. The bill calls the educational savings accounts “Student First Scholarships.”

ISEA Summary of SF 159: Read a breakdown of the main points included in the governor’s bill, SF 159.


Download and share social media graphics opposing vouchers. Help spread awareness that vouchers, by any name, are wrong for Iowa.

Download: Public Dollars for Public Education

Download: Accountability and Transparency

Download: Contact your Representative