EEarlier this month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds took a risk and spoke out against four members of her party, each running for re-election to the state legislature. She endorsed their main opponents, and when asked why, Reynolds said the decision was pretty simple: They refused to join her push for school choice.
“Just because of the heartbreaking stories I hear from parents and what their children are subjected to,” Reynolds said. “And they really just want a quality education.”
Reynolds made a bet that the parents would side with her and vote out the four incumbents. This bet paid off. Two-term state representative Jon Thorup, two-term state representative Dustin Hite, one-term state representative Dennis Bush and two-term state representative Dave Maxwell all lost their offers to candidates who agreed with Reynolds that parents deserve the right to decide what their children learn and from whom.
The same thing happened in Kentucky and Texas. Overall, candidates who chose to side with the educational institution rather than the families lost.
The lesson from all of this is clear: parents are tired of an education system that abandoned their children for two years, but abandoned them long before that. Test scores and academic achievement plummeted long before the COVID-19 pandemic began, in part because educators focused more on indoctrinating students with enlightened concepts, such as critical theory of race and gender ideology, than on their teaching of reading and writing.
Parents want out and will vote for just about anyone who promises to help them get out of the public school system. Indeed, a recent poll found that 82% of parents said they would support a candidate from another political party if that candidate’s educational platform aligned with their own. This finding was consistent across the political spectrum: 88% of independents, 81% of Democrats, and 79% of Republicans agreed that the well-being of their children was more important than party affiliation.
Lawmakers who for whatever reason are reluctant to break the education monopoly should take this as a warning: what happened in Iowa will happen to you if parents think you will stand in the way of what is the better for their children. Parents have finally found their voice, and they’re not afraid to get you to start listening.