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Reynolds reaching out to Republicans reluctant to back her education bill

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s ready to “educate” fellow Republicans expressing reluctance about one of her legislative priorities.

“It’s early in the session,” she says. “It’s part of the process and we’re ready to go.”

The governor’s plan to expand charter schools and give parents state money for private school expenses has cleared the Iowa Senate with the minimum number of Republican votes required, but three Republicans voted against it. House Speaker Pat Grassley of New Hartford says the House moves at a different pace and there are differences of opinion among House Republicans on what parental choice should look like.

“People may want to do more, may want to do less, whatever that looks like,” Grassley says, “so I wouldn’t say it’s a sticking point, it’s just a piece that we have to work through.”

Reynolds says shifting more state money to private schools “is the right thing to do.”

“Especially after what we’ve seen take place and the impact that the pandemic has had on our students over this past year,” Reynolds says, “so we are going to continue to educate and update and reach out to legislators to help answer any questions that they may have and to bring them on board.”

House Republicans already have separated out one part of the governor’s education package — to get rid of transfer restrictions in five Iowa districts and let all students enroll in another public district. The House passed a stand-alone bill on that topic last week.

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