School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Did not find

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?


No charter school cap; however, the state board shall approve not more than ten innovation zone consortiums.

256F.3 (8): Application

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?


Charters must comply with regulations for public schools and must outline means, costs, and plan for providing transportation to students.

Public school regulations: The board of directors in every school district shall provide transportation, either directly or by reimbursement for transportation, for all resident pupils attending public school, kindergarten through twelfth grade.

256F.4.2.i: General operating requirements.
256F.5 (16): Application- definition
285.1.a: When entitled to state aid.

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?


Charters must comply with state rules and teaching standards. "Teacher" means a licensed member of a school’s instructional staff.

256F.7 (1): Employment and related matters
272.1.(16): Definitions

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?


Virtual learning within participating schools/districts is permitted.

281—15.1(256) Purpose

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find-

School district must monitor and verify full-time enrollment, timely completion of graduation requirements, course credit accrual, course completion, progress and performance. Does not mention how they track attendance.

281-15.7(2)a-b. School district responsibilities- monitoring and supervision

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?


Yes. Teacher must be appropriately licensed for educational level and content area. Teacher will receive training for effective practices which enhance learning by telecommunications.

281-15.5 Teacher preparation and accessibility

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?


No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?


Tuition and textbook tax credit: "A tuition credit equal to twenty-five percent of the first one thousand dollars which the taxpayer has paid to others for each dependent in grades kindergarten through twelve, for tuition and textbooks of each dependent in attending an elementary or secondary school situated in Iowa..."


Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable-

However, households cannot receive the credit for expenses for tuition or textbooks used for the teaching of religious tenets, doctrines, or worship, the purpose of which is to inculcate those tenets, doctrines, or worship.


Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable-

However, there is a cap for the tuition and textbook tax credit: cap of $250 per student that spends $1000.


Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?


"'Open enrollment' is the procedure allowing a parent/guardian to enroll one or more pupils in a public school district other than the district of residence at no tuition cost"

281—17.2(282) Definitions

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?


Students must meet economic eligibility requirement to be provided transportation, household income below 160% of federal poverty line. Resident district not required to provide transportation to district that is not contiguous. Alternatively, resident district can pay parent transportation cost. Parent responsible for getting student to designated bus stop. Resident district not obligated to pay more than average cost per pupil for transported.


Page last updated: January 2020

Shape Created with Sketch.

We’re always looking for feedback. To get in touch with our team, please email comments or questions to Thank you!

The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.