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Governor signs bill outlawing school voluntary diversity plans

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Waterloo Community School District Students in fall 2020

DES MOINES (KWWL) - Governor Reynolds has signed a bill into law which outlaws voluntary diversity plans for the five school districts who use them.

Voluntary diversity plans help school districts regulate how families move in and out of their district based on socioeconomic background. Once a family says they want to leave a school district, via open-enrolling in another, the district examines if it has any families of similar status to swap in.

The five districts are Waterloo, Des Moines, Davenport, West Liberty and Postville.

Supporters say these plans help districts maintain diverse classrooms, while opponents say they prevent parents from placing their kids where they want.

The usual open enrollment deadline is March 1 every year but the bill was written to nix that deadline for the 2021 school year; making it take affect immediately.

This bill was one of the things Reynolds highlighted as a priority in her 2021 Condition of the State Address.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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