May 4, 2024

Ty Rushing: Iowa legislator opening his own private school, to be funded by vouchers he voted for

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Ty Rushing reports for Iowa Starting Line about one legislator’s entry into the lucrative world of charter schools.

Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) is set to open a new private school in his district in 2025 and its future financial backing will depend on taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers he helped vote into law.

Fisher serves as the board president for the upcoming Tama-Toledo Christian School, which is in the midst of renovating the former St. Patrick Catholic Church in Tama to serve as its school building.

Fisher and the rest of the six-person board of directors—which includes his wife—are fundraising to cover the school’s start-up expenses, but the six-term state representative told the Tama Toledo News he expects vouchers to cover future expenses.

“Once we start classes, the ESA funding will pay the bulk of our operating expenses, and we will also continue to fundraise from the community to enhance our funding,” Fisher told the paper.

ESA is short for Educational Savings Account, the formal name for Gov. Kim Reynolds’ private school tuition voucher program. The Iowa House passed the controversial measure in a 55-45 vote in January 2023, and Fisher was a “yes” vote. Reynolds endorsed him before the election due to his support of her voucher plan.

The articles of incorporation for the Tama-Toledo Christian School were filed on May 17, 2023, a little less than two weeks after the 2023 legislative session came to a close.

Read the full story here. 

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