Under current law, administrators in the Des Moines, Davenport, Waterloo, Postville and West Liberty Public Schools may limit the number of transfers, to maintain a student body with diverse economic and racial backgrounds.
Iowa Association of School Boards lobbyist Emily Piper said there are good reasons to deny some requests to transfer to a neighboring district.
“There is solid research that shows that having a diverse group of people from socio-economic backgrounds in the same building, in the same classroom actually helps improve student achievement,” Piper said during a House subcommittee hearing on the bill.
Drew Klein, the state director for Americans for Prosperity, called opponents of the change “edu-crats” who are too focused on “systems and institutions” rather than on parents’ wishes.
“Families make different decisions for a multitude of different reasons,” Klein said.
And Governor Reynolds has said she wants the open enrollment limit in these five districts lifted. The proposal has cleared a subcommittee and is eligible for debate in the House Education Committee.