Applications Underway for Groundbreaking School Choice Program in Iowa: What Parents Need to Know

With applications open through June 30, parents have only a few weeks to explore and decide whether they’ll participate this fall

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s education landscape is experiencing a transformation with the implementation of the new Education Savings Account (ESA) Program. Under the ESA Program, eligible families will be able to access specific funds , which can be used to pay for private school tuition and fees. The new education savings account program opens the door for families across the state to consider whether private school is the best choice for their child, without the price tag being a barrier.

The National School Choice Awareness Foundation—a nonprofit that helps parents navigate K–12 education options in traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and home education environments—has developed a comprehensive guide that highlights practical considerations for families.

Parents who want to choose a private school for their sons and daughters can receive their children’s allocated education funding (about $7,598 for 2023–2024) in an online account. Approved educational expenses include private school tuition, tutoring, educational therapies, advanced placement exams, nonpublic online learning, and more. The guide answers common questions about the program, including the following:

  • What can families use Iowa’s ESA Program funds for?
  • Who is eligible, and when?
  • What other school choice programs are available in Iowa?
  • How will this affect homeschoolers?
  • How will this affect the public school system?

“When Gov. Reynolds signed this program into law during National School Choice Week, we knew parents around the state would be excited to apply and explore their new options. On the first day parents could apply, 5,000 of them did,” said Shelby Doyle, vice president of public awareness at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. With a tight window of just one month to apply to the new program, and spots going quickly in schools, we’re eager to share this jargon-free, practical guide so parents can get up to speed on the program and make choices for their children.”

More information and resources for journalists can be found at More information for families can be found at or

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The National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) raises broad and positive awareness of school choice through two charitable programs: organizing National School Choice Week each January and the research, development, and promotion of comprehensive and unbiased school navigation resources for parents via School Choice Week and Conoce tus Opciones Escolares. NSCAF does not advocate for or oppose legislation at any level of government and is steadfastly nonpartisan and nonpolitical.

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Alissa Jacques

Manager, Digital Communications

Alissa Jacques serves as manager of digital communications at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF). In this role, Alissa oversees the organization’s English-language social media presence and develops high-impact advertising campaigns to inform, inspire, and empower parents about their K–12 education options.

Previously, Alissa owned her own digital marketing agency, served as an adjunct writing professor at Bloomfield College, and spent two years as an elementary school teacher at Democracy Preparatory Charter School in New York.

Alissa attended both public and private schools as a child, where she developed a love for creative writing. She holds a bachelor of arts in education policy and entrepreneurship from New York University, and a master of arts in sociology of education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, scrolling through TikTok, and exploring NYC with her husband and cavapoo, Russ.