Less than a month into the 2021 legislative session, it’s clear it’ll be a memorable one. As if the lack of COVID-19 precautions at the statehouse isn’t enough of a headline, the lawmakers in Des Moines have drawn our attention with several hotly-contested education bills – from the elimination of local decision making over whether to educate kids in person during a global pandemic, to a bill that critics argue could hamstring public schools for years to come.

One bright spot last week was the news that Sen. Annette Sweeney, Hardin County’s representative in the Iowa Senate, broke with her Republican Party to vote against a bill that would alter open enrollment rules for Iowa’s public schools and create a voucher program that would provide public money for students who attend private schools.

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