Republican candidate Bob Vander Plaats says if he’s elected governor, he’ll ensure private schools and home schoolers have as much say in crafting state education policy as those who’re involved in public schools.
"It’s about educating all children and about celebrating the education of all children," Vander Plaats says.
Vander Plaats — a former teacher, coach and principal in four different public school districts in Iowa — graduated from Hull Western Christian High School, which is near Sheldon. "I was raised in the private school system, the Christian school system, but came back to Sheldon to serve as their high school principal," Vander Plaats says.
Vander Plaats pledges to appoint a home schooling parent to the state Board of Education. "It’s the parent’s right and privilege to raise and educate and nuture their children, not the government," Vander Plaats says.
Vander Plaats says he’d appoint a representative of the state’s private K-through-12 schools to the Board of Education, too. The current, 10-member state Board of Education currently includes a private school representative. Sister Jude Fitzpatrick is the retired superintendent of schools for the Des Moines Catholic Diocese.