Deidre DeJear puts public education as top priority at campaign event

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear puts Iowa’s public education as her top priority, as Iowa ranks no. 43 on the national list. DeJear said Iowa has fallen in ranking because of the current governor, Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa.

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Meg Doster, News Editor


Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear puts Iowa’s public education as her top priority, as Iowa ranks no. 43 on the national list.

DeJear said Iowa has fallen in ranking because of the current governor, Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa.

“It changed because we stopped investing in education,” DeJear said. “We stopped investing in people. We started prioritizing politics, partisanship, and political money.”

DeJear’s opponent, Reynolds, has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for attempting to pass Senate Study Bill 3080, a bill that would’ve diverted funding from public schools to private school scholarships. The bill did not pass before the end of the 2022 legislative session.

A PolitiFact article done by The Daily Iowan concluded that Reynolds’s proposed Student First voucher bill would only benefit 2 percent of Iowa students.

RELATED: Governor Kim Reynolds’ private education bill will not pass, says House Speaker Pat Grassley

“Currently the governor is pushing forward a voucher plan that they say will undermine our public schools,” Lyz Lenz, the host of the event, said.

Lenz, a local journalist and author, said education is one of the main concerns among her readers.

“I did a thing on social media,” Lenz said. “I was like, ‘What do you want to know about? Deidre?’ and everybody was like, ‘abortion, schools, pot.’”

DeJear said a strong education system is needed to solve many of Iowa’s current issues.

“We have to lift up public education because we know that it lends opportunities to jobs,” DeJear said. “It makes our community stronger, safer, and it prepares our students for that life, liberty, and happiness.”

Eric Van Lancker, the Clinton County Auditor and Commissioner of Election, and the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, said that getting Iowa back to being ranked no. 1 in education is very important.

“We have to make sure they got the resources that people want to go to those schools,” Van Lancker said. “[If we] got a great public education system to have a well educated workforce, that will attract companies that want to come here that will attract other small businesses that want to come here.”

DeJear said the state of Iowa has been grossly underfunding the public education system, as Iowa currently has a tax surplus of over 1 billion dollars. DeJear said that amount of money is too much to not use.


 

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