Both tax credit and voucher programs are school choice options for Iowa. Iowa’s constitution contains a Compelled Support Clause, which the Iowa Supreme Court has interpreted as prohibiting direct payment of public funds to religious schools. In general, however, the Court has noted that the Compelled Support Clause seeks to achieve the same end as the federal Establishment Clause and should be interpreted in line with federal Establishment Clause precedent. Therefore, a religiously neutral voucher program of true private choice that gives money directly to parents is likely to be upheld in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Zelman.
Model Legislation: Education Savings Account, Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Universal Eligibility), Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Means-Tested Eligibility), Special Needs Scholarship Program, Foster Child Scholarship Program, Autism Scholarship, Great Schools Tax Credit Program, Family Education Tax Credit Program