Reynolds Offers Teachers a Bonus Before Announcing Plan to Defund Public Schools

Screenshot of Gov. Kim Reynolds delivering 2022 Condition of the State address.

Gov. Kim Reynolds is using books as the latest excuse to defund public schools.

Reynolds used Tuesday’s 2022 Condition of the State address to hitch her wagon to state Sen. Jake Chapman’s crusade against books he finds objectionable being placed in public schools.

Presiding over a joint session of the Iowa Legislature, Reynolds echoed talking points from the Republican Senate president who, a day prior, decried teachers as having a “sinister agenda.”

Reynolds compared the books to X-rated movies while not providing any context around them. She also argued that schools should be required to publish what they are teaching despite this information already being readily available on many school district websites.

“We live in a free country with free expression,” Reynolds said. “But there’s a difference between shouting vulgarities from a street corner and assigning them as required classroom reading. There’s a difference between late-night cable TV and the school library.”

Reynolds also used the book argument, which started in Texas and caught on in Iowa late last year, as a reason to push for school vouchers, a mechanism to use public funds to help pay for private education.

“I’ll be introducing legislation that allows middle- and low-income families and students with an individualized educational plan to receive a portion of the ‘per pupil’ funds allocated annually by the state to move their child to the education system of their choice,” Reynolds said.

According to Reynolds’ plan, 70% of those funds (around $5,300) will go directly to the families while the remainder would be distributed to smaller school districts.

To soften that blow, in an earlier part of her speech, Reynolds vowed to give teachers who taught during the pandemic and who will continue to teach next year a $1,000 bonus using federal COVID relief funds.

This section of the speech prompted a few responses on Twitter, including some from Iowa educators:


by Ty Rushing

5 Comments on "Reynolds Offers Teachers a Bonus Before Announcing Plan to Defund Public Schools"

  • Most people understand what’s happening. We want GOOD teachers who WANT to protect kids from exposure to sexual content at school, and we want parents to be empowered to choose a school that best provides for their children. Let’s make the public schools compete with the moral standards and wholesomeness that many private schools strive to provide. If the schools want to allow garbage in the library in the name of art or political correctness or whatever the excuse is, let them lose the families who know better to the private schools. Let the morally upright teachers seek employment at schools they want to partner with in doing what’s best for kids.
    I pray that politicians, journalists, school boards and teachers would get real about the serious negative consequences of children’s early exposure to sexual content. That’s what this is really about.

  • The whole point of public school education and public libraries is they are funded and supported by the entire public. If anyone wishes to choose otherwise you are entitled to that option. You are not however entitled to dictate to others their choices.

  • What about support staff custodians we were here the whole time while teachers were home and we are still here.

  • @Sarah – that’s funny you mention public schools having to compete with private “moral” schools. See, I’ve taught at both a private Catholic school and a public school. At only one of them has the administration had to send a letter home to parents of the junior class warning them that their students were talking about how they had an orgy at a kid’s house while the parents were in Acapulco. I’ll let you guess which school that was. Kids have full access to the internet. I guarantee you maybe 5 kids check books out of the school library or even read books anymore at your local public school. You’re barking up the wrong tree and alienating amazing and dedicated educators who are leaving the profession in droves (myself included after 17 years).

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