Des Moines, IA – American Principles in Action would like to thank Representatives Cecil Dolecheck (R-Mount Ayr), Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig), and Greg Forristall (R- Macedonia) for their efforts to move the Independent Accreditation bill (HF 167) out of the House Education Committee this week. Its passage from the full House Education committee means it is eligible for debate on the House floor after making it through the Legislature’s first self-imposed deadline of March 4 to get bills through committee.
Iowa is one of only a handful of states that offers accreditation for private schools. Accreditation by the state is required for private schools to participate in any programs, appropriations, or regulations that would help level the playing field for private schools and make a high-quality private education available to all Iowa parents. This worked only when the State treaded lightly with private schools, and respected in particular the mission and role of a private religious education in Iowa. Recently the General Assembly has engaged in social issues that has impacted educational policy toward state accredited private schools. So we believe bill is critical to ensure Iowa’s private schools are able to maintain a rigorous level of academic accountability and it also ensures Iowa’s private schools are able to partner with parents in the best way that meets the needs and requirements of their children and their faith.
We’ll be working with other coalition partners such as the Iowa Association of Christian Schools to ensure that private schools secure the option to obtain accreditation from regional or national accrediting bodies that better understand and respect the role and mission of our schools while maintaining their status as “accredited” schools under the law.