‘We’re not planning to change’: Cedar Rapids private school expects little impact from voucher law

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Students First Act, signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, is a major restructuring of education in Iowa. However, the principal of Cedar Valley Christian School predicts not much will be different for his school.

“At this point, we don’t really see much changing going into next year,” said Principal Jeff Pospisil. “We’re not planning to change our admission policies or our application process.”

Students who want an ESA will have to apply by Jun 30. The earliest they’ll get that money is July 15. However, Pospisil said admissions are on a pretty loose timeline, giving families time to get the money they need for their children to attend.

“We take applications and admit students even past the start of school next year,” said Pospisil.

He added tuition won’t change from the normal increases, and he doesn’t expect the student population to swell, either.

“We looked at what’s happened in other states for when ESAs pass, or vouchers, or whatever. And there’s never been a real mass exodus from the public school,” said Pospisil. “We’re kind of looking for normal growth.”

Davis Eidalh, Superintendent of Solon Community Schools, had similar predictions about the impact of the law.

“No, we aren’t really too concerned about an immediate impact,” said Eidalh. When asked if he was opposed to the voucher system, as many affiliated with public schools are, he said, “I guess not necessarily. I have a delayed—I want to wait and see.”

Eidalh admitted the law meant his district could lose money, if not in the next year, then potentially in the future.

“If we have students leaving over the next few years to attend a private school with an Educational Savings Account, then we would be losing dollars,” said Eidalh.

However, he believes public schools don’t need to worry about losing students if they’re doing a good job serving their communities.

“As a school district, we’re going to have to really make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our communities, and we’re aligning our classrooms with the same values that our families have,“ said Eidalh. “As long as we maintain an environment that matches the people that live here and move here, the values that we hold, you know, we’re going to be in a good spot to where we don’t believe that this will have much of an impact on us.“