It is so rare to find a mainstream newspaper that supports public schools and opposes privatization, that it is worth paying attention when you see one. Our reader Chiara sent this one in. If you see one in your city or state, send it in. Iowa has long been renowned for its excellent public schools. Community support is a big part of that excellence. Thank you, Des Moines Register!

The editorial begins like this:

Let’s just call the “school choice” movement what it really is: an effort to funnel taxpayer dollars from public schools to vouchers, private schools and home schools. Supporters seem to believe Iowa children are being held hostage in collapsing government education institutions. 

“If there’s a public school that’s failing, we have a responsibility to those children that we give them the best opportunity possible,” said Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa.

Actually, if schools are failing, the Iowa Legislature has a responsibility to help fix them, which includes adequately funding them. Despite the rhetoric of Chelgren and other school-choice advocates, Iowa parents have numerous choices in educating their children.

That is exactly right. When a school has low test scores, help it. Support the kids and the teachers. Don’t kill public education by betting on vouchers (a proven failure) and charters (privately run schools that typically do no better than the public schools they replace).