Scott Raecker Throws School Choice Under the Bus, Will Iowa House Republicans Allow It?



school-bus3I’m a little confused.  I thought that Republicans were in favor of school choice.   So I’m more than a little surprised to learn that Iowa House Republicans, at the request of State Representative Scott Raecker (R-Urbandale) – the Iowa House Appropriations Chair – stripped out a tax credit for people who donate to School Tuition Organizations.

Let me get this straight – Iowa Senate Democrats want to increase the tax credit from $7.5 million to $10 Million in SF 533, their version of the Standings bill.  They of course did this with strings attached – they want to increase public school allowable growth to 2%.  House Republicans want to zero it out for next year.

In order to resolve this, Raecker through a strikeout amendment, removed the tax credit all together.  So the State Representative who wants to reign in spending removed a tax credit that has been proven to save the state money.  What the state spends per child who benefits from the tax credit is far, far less than what they would spend on that child if he or she stays in the public schools.  so Raecker can’t say the State can’t afford it.  We can’t afford not to do it.

Correction: The increase to the tax credit was removed, not the entire tax credit itself. I apologize for my error.

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  • Anonymous

     Amazing that House Republicans continue to insist on no allowable growth for school budgets–that hasn’t been done in 40 years, no matter which party controlled the legislature. House Speaker Chris Rants didn’t try to do that during the 2001/2002 budget crunch. State revenues are improving, but Republicans still won’t budge on this.

  • Scott Raecker

    Shane – Your facts are not correct.  House Republicans will be open and honest with Iowans about the budget. House Republicans will not play the Senate game – which was to increase the credit by $3 million CONTINGENT on 2% allowable growth for public schools. Republicans will fulfill our commitment to produce a budget for Iowans that will meet priority needs and does not spend more than we take in. House Republicans will fulfill the current level of credits at $7 million in an economic and budget climate that will see at least a 3% reduction in real state spending this year. House Republicans did not strip out the credit.

    • http://caffeinatedcommunications.net Shane Vander Hart

      Representative Raecker, I did issue a correction on my comment that the tax credit was removed, it was the increase to the credit that was removed. You must have written your comment prior to my making the correction.

      You still are removing the increase. This increase to the Tax Credit for STOs is not an expenditure, it will provide further tax savings. I understand what Senate Democrats had done – I mentioned it in my post. Why not strikeout the 2% allowable growth and leave in the tax credit increase?

  • Scott Raecker

    Shane – Your facts are not correct.  House Republicans will be open and honest with Iowans about the budget. House Republicans will not play the Senate game – which was to increase the credit by $3 million CONTINGENT on 2% allowable growth for public schools. Republicans will fulfill our commitment to produce a budget for Iowans that will meet priority needs and does not spend more than we take in. House Republicans will fulfill the current level of credits at $7 million in an economic and budget climate that will see at least a 3% reduction in real state spending this year. House Republicans did not strip out the credit.