“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain,” a statement so important to Iowans it adorns our state seal and flag. Many have forgotten what liberty means. Liberty is the freedom to live as we choose and raise our children in the customs and beliefs we hold dear.
The recent elections forced many citizens to reflect on their personal morals and political beliefs. For me, this election distilled to a couple no-compromise issues. Education being one.
The Iowa Legislature will be convening soon and education will again be a hot topic. Parents deserve access to education that best meets their child’s needs, but often that choice is dictated by their neighborhood or income level. Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are an effective tool to give families freedom of choice and could transform education in our state.
ESAs are like flexible spending accounts; the state deposits a portion of a child’s share of school funding into the account. Parents can then choose the best education for their child. Every child is different and what works for one may not work for another. Parents want and need the ability to secure the educational option that best fits their child.
Access to education is an undeniable right, but we must also allow parents the liberty to pursue the educational choice that is best for their child. Iowa’s future of education should be based on freedom of choice. I encourage the state legislators, and all Iowans to support the creation of ESAs.
Matthew A. Henning