The Iowa Senate has begun work on a new bill that would shift hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars from public schools to private schools.

The bill creates a new voucher program that would give $4,000 in state tax dollars for students to use at private schools. When fully implemented, the total cost of the voucher bill would be over $250 million annually.

Many lawmakers are opposed to the bill and believe that public money should be used for public schools. According to a recent Iowa Poll, 65% of Iowans do not want public funds to go to private education.

In Iowa, 92% of students attend public schools and current state funding for public schools is well below the national average. The state already provides $52 million for students who attend non-public schools.

Senate Study Bill 3206 is currently being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.