In January 2021, Gov. Reynolds and Republican legislators fought with the option for 100 percent in-person learning. A year later, Iowa students are better off for it. 

Across the country, schools are closing and transitioning back to detrimental online learning. After the holiday break, districts across the Midwest in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Cleveland all closed schools. Not in Iowa.

It's no longer 2020. We know how damaging it has been for students when they are not in school, in person. Forcing students out of the classroom resulted in a "significant" learning loss. In early 2021, a study found that 57 percent of educators estimated that their students were months behind in their social-emotional progress. These impacts are even worse for students in areas with higher poverty rates. 

If Iowa Democrats had their way, Iowa students would be in the same disastrous situations as those in New York, Chicago and Detroit.  Take a look back at what Iowa Democrats said at the time:

  • Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City): “This bill is nothing more than Gov. Reynolds settling a political score with large urban school districts that disagreed with her."
  • Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines): "The problem is that [Republicans] and a lot of people seem to be working on this fast track to implement this thing."
  • Rep. Jennifer Konfrst (D-Windsor Heights): "Most of the concern I'm hearing is about the lack of ability to make those decisions in our own communities."

"Gov. Reynolds was a trailblazer in this fight and after a whole year, it's safe to say our children are better off because Gov. Reynolds stood up and fought back," said Republican Party of Iowa Communications Director Kollin Crompton. "We cannot underestimate the path Republicans put students on compared to their peers across the country."


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