Grassley: Iowa governor’s private school scholarships bill will not pass this session

(The Center Square) – Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, told reporters Monday that Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposal for Iowa taxpayers to use $55 million to fund 10,000 scholarships for private school expenses will not pass this year.

For weeks, Reynolds has tried to convince House Republicans, who have a 60-40 majority, to support the proposal. Democrats are opposed. Many Republican representatives have concerns about the bill’s impact on rural schools. She endorsed the opponent of Republican Rep. Jon Thorup, R-Knoxville, who opposed the bill.

Legislators are seeking to adjourn by mid-week, Des Moines Register reported.

Reynolds has said that she would seek to try again next session if she wins reelection to get the legislation passed. Grassley wants to work out a deal with Reynolds, Des Moines Register reported.

Nearly all Republican senators passed the measure in March.

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said only 2% of Iowa students would have benefited from the proposal and the state should focus on the 498,000 who attend public schools, Des Moines Register reported.

Iowa Association of Christian Schools Executive Director Lydia Quick said in a statement that the lack of support in the House is disappointing because many families need the Education Savings Account funding.

“We are grateful to the governor and Senate for their willingness to champion the needs of students this year and we will be back until every student can choose the educational environment that best meets individual needs,” she said.