DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Reynolds released the following video message in response to applications for her landmark Student First Education Savings Account (ESA) program becoming available at 8:00 AM CT. 

In the video message, Gov. Reynolds says: 

“Today marks an important milestone for Iowa’s education system as universal school choice becomes a reality for Iowa families.  

Applications are now open for our new Students First Education Savings Accounts, or ESAs, which expands opportunities for Iowa families - empowering them to choose the type of education that’s best for their children regardless of their income or zip code.  

I believe education is the great equalizer, which is why it was so important to remove the boundaries that have existed between public and private schools for too long and to ensure families can send their children to the school of their choice.  

Today, we’re changing the face of education in Iowa and influencing what it looks like nationwide.  

I believe that school choice will improve our overall education experience in Iowa. I believe it will create a system of schools, both public and private, that are driven by student-centered missions.  

Schools where teachers want to teach, parents want to send their children, and students excel and thrive. Schools that offer opportunities for all and shape the future of our state. 

I want to thank the legislature for supporting the Students First Act, and the Iowa Department of Education and other state agencies who’ve worked so hard to launch the program.  

You’re making a difference for students and families across the state and I’m so grateful for your teamwork.  

The Students First ESA applications are open now and you can apply at the Department of Education’s website at EducateIowa.Gov.” 

You can find a link to the full video message here

Gov. Reynolds Video Message on ESA Launch