School Choice in


Iowa offers K–12 students and their families a few types of school choice, including three private school choice programs, charter schools, magnet schools, homeschooling and inter-district public school choice via an open enrollment policy.

Fast Facts Policy Toolkit Regulations State Groups

Private School Choice

Iowa has three private school choice programs: a near-universal education savings account (ESA), a tax-credit scholarship and an individual tax credit. These programs help families send their children to participating private schools, but ESAs allow parents more flexibility because funds can be used on more than tuition, including education therapies and more.

Public School Choice

Iowa has an inter-district open enrollment policy, which allows parents to transfer to traditional public schools outside of their district. Iowa also has magnet schools.

Charter Schools

Iowa has a few charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are free of many of the regulations that restrict traditional public schools.


Parents have to follow certain laws in Iowa when homeschooling their children.