The Iowa Senate approves Governor Kim Reynolds’ choice to lead the Department of Education

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The Iowa Senate voted to confirm Chad Aldis as director of the Iowa Department of Education on Monday, naming the former vice president of the think tank and championing “school choice” against Democrats’ objections.

On Monday, the Senate voted 37-13 to confirm Aldis, with all 34 Republicans in favor along with three Democrats: Sen. Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines. Isa Knox, D.D. Moines; and Hermann Kermbach, D-Amis. The remaining 13 Democrats opposed.

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Aldis — an Iowan native, vice president of the think tank and advocate for “School Choice” — to lead the department last month. His first day was March 15th.

Chad Aldis

The appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Iowa education system.

Earlier this year, Reynolds signed a sweeping School Choice Act that will allow every family in Iowa access to up to $7,600 per student to pay for private school costs such as tuition and fees.

It’s also pursuing a host of other changes to Iowa’s education system, including changing school bylaws, restricting the bathrooms transgender students can use at school, and banning schools from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity through the sixth grade.