Educational Choice Summit

thu06oct6:30 pmthu8:00 pmEducational Choice Summit700 7th St NE, Sioux Center, IA

Educational choice summit banner with imagery of learning students.

Event Details

This is an exciting time to serve Christian schools in Iowa! Our intent for this summit is to bring awareness and excitement around educational choice in Iowa, as well as learn how to become advocates for educational choice. 

“Despite Iowa having a long history of providing some help to parents looking for alternative options to their local public school, many families still don’t actually have a choice when their children need or desire something different for their education due to their income.  We believe that compulsory education must come with the ability for every Iowa parent and student to choose the educational setting that best meets their needs in order for the state to respect the role of parents as primary educators and caregivers.” (IACS ESA Update)

Join us, along with the Iowa Association of Christian Schools, for an evening of discussion led by our speakers and experts.

Educational Choice Speakers

Governor Kim Reynolds, headshot.

Governor Kim Reynolds

Governor Kim Reynolds is the 43rd governor of Iowa and has the distinction of being the first woman elected to the state’s highest office in November 2018.

Last year, the Governor introduced the Students First Act, a sweeping education bill aimed at expanding options for Iowa families. Nearly every one of the proposals was signed into law, resulting in more opportunities for charter schools, open enrollment, innovative learning experiences, and tax credits and deductions to reduce educational expenses for both parents and teachers. But there is still more to do.

“Parents deserve to have the choice of what environment is best suited for their children to thrive, and we have it already, but it’s only for those who can afford it.”

In order to ensure that every child is successful in school, Governor Reynolds believes we must provide options, ensure transparency and engage families in the educational experience.

For more information about Governor Reynolds priorities for Iowa, visit governor.iowa.gov.

Representative Skyler Wheeler, headshot.

Representative Skyler Wheeler

Skyler Wheeler, a member of the Republican Party, has served as member of the Iowa House of Representatives, representing the 4th district since 2017.

“As a state representative, Skyler Wheeler worked with me to pass meaningful legislation that protects our freedoms and improves the quality of life for all Iowans. I’ve seen first hand, how hard he fights to cut taxes, protect law enforcement, and work toward sweeping school choice legislation.” – Governor Kim Reynolds

Senator Jeff Taylor, headshot.

Senator Jeff Taylor

Senator Jeff Taylor is an educator, writer, and sixth-generation Iowan. A native of Spencer, he graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City and then earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. Senator Taylor is a professor of political science at Dordt University in Sioux Center. 

His articles have appeared in a range of publications, including The American Conservative, and he has authored three published books about politics. A constitutional conservative, Senator Taylor describes his six key political values as decentralism, morality, freedom, grassroots, common sense, and community. In 2012, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Iowa.

Steve Holwerda, educational choice employee and advocate, headshot.

Steve Holwerda

Steve serves as the Vice President of Development for EdChoice. He is responsible for donor strategy and engagement by building relationships with our partners and helping them connect better to the work of EdChoice.

“My parents made a choice to send my three sisters and me to a private school. I didn’t come from a family of significant means, and I saw my parents make sacrifices to give us the opportunity to attend the school that best fit our needs. I am in this movement now to help others be able to make this choice as well, regardless of their financial situation or the neighborhood in which they live. Education is the bedrock of our society and our nation’s future. We need to make sure the next generation is given every opportunity to succeed. That starts with education and the choice of a school that works best for each student to maximize their skills, gifts and talents.”

Steve has over 20 years of fundraising experience and has been an integral leader for institutional development in both the healthcare and education sectors.

Jordan Zakery, educational Choice employee and advocate, headshot.

Jordan Zakery

Jordan serves as the State Relations Director at EdChoice. He brings to EdChoice valuable legislative and government services experience as former field manager for Indiana State Rep. Stephen Bartels. Additionally, he has interned with the Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Indiana) legislative services team and has served on the staff of Indiana State Senators R. Michael Young and Jon Ford at the Indiana State Senate.

Along with work in politics, Jordan also has a background in the legal field through interning with judge Michael Mihm at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois and with the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“I believe students and parents deserve options when it comes to education. Sometimes traditional education works well for students, but oftentimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I think it is imperative that we think outside of the box and help parents and students find a solution that works best for them. I want every child to receive a top-notch education so they can change the world for the better. I believe the school choice movement can play a major part in doing just that.”

Additional Educational Choice Resources

Read Matthew H. Lee’s article When Parents Choose, Kids Win! over on The CACE Rountable for an analysis of three recent studies that highlight the importance of parental and educational choice.

For more information on the EdChoice Mission, visit edchoice.org.


Iowa Association of Christian Schools

IACS represents Christian schools in public policy both by tracking public policy to provide information to member schools, as well as advocating on behalf of our member schools at the Iowa Legislature. IACS also educates Iowans on the benefits of school choice programs and Christ-centered education, building a culture of excellence in education and school choice in Iowa.

Learn More

2 Comments on “Educational Choice Summit”

  1. This is a good move for CACE: to host this summit. I encourage you to use this event to consider hosting a national summit on education choice, inviting the key players as speakers among the states who have various forms of government-funded programs (vouchers, tax credits, etc.) for religious schools. Iowa, Indiana, and Arizona come to mind as strong programs already that the rest of us ought to hear.

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