Education Savings Accounts Applications Open May 31, 2023!
The per pupil funding for the 2023-24 school year will be $7,635. The following students are eligible for the 2023-24 school year: All students entering kindergarten, all public school students transferring to a private school, and current private school students who meet income qualification guidelines.
All applications must be submitted by June 30, 2023 to receive funds for the upcoming school year. Students who transfer mid-year are not eligible.
Applications will be completed online.The link will be available at educateiowa.gov by May 31, 2023. Application process should take no more than 10-15 minutes and results will be available immediately.
There will be just one application per family. Parents/guardians can add multiple students attending multiple schools from their household.
Application consists of basic questions including contact information and social security number/ITIN. The State of Iowa will verify household size and net income (line 26 of the 2022 Iowa 1040 tax form).
Each student will have an account that parents can access through an online portal. Parents will direct payment of funds to schools after July 15.
This is a proven model that has been successfully implemented by Catholic schools across the country. The region will consist of the eleven Catholic grade schools in the Des Moines Metro and Dowling Catholic High School. All of these schools will continue to function in their current locations serving the grade spans that they do today. Currently, each grade school is attached to one parish which is responsible for the entire operation of the school. The regional model will bring the schools together in a system that will enhance operations through collaboration and leveraging of collective resources. Each school will benefit from greater efficiency with the consolidation of overhead services such as human resources and accounting that each school is currently managing separately. Working in concert with the diocese, the region will make it possible to direct resources towards making our schools better while preserving the traditions, culture and individual identities of each school.
The increasing complexity of running schools and the cost to sustain an exceptional Catholic education requires a strategic approach. This new approach will facilitate long term planning, streamlined operations and the sustainability of our schools for decades to come. The regional model will also provide the opportunity to address teacher pay and retention which directly correlates with positive student outcomes. In addition, increasing tuition assistance will be a top priority which aligns with our mission of providing access for all who value and seek a Catholic education.
This will not be a monumental change for parents, students or teachers in their day-to-day activities. Each school will maintain their individual uniforms, faith activities, athletic teams, and other aspects that make them unique. Community events such as the annual gala and other traditions will also continue as they have in the past. In fact, the region has identified a goal of not only protecting the unique identity of each school, but also providing a process to help articulate a vision for each school.
Operating a school has become much more complex over the years. Asking pastors to fulfill the wide variety of roles required to operate a parish and school is no longer realistic. The regional system will provide the opportunity to better define the role of the pastor as it pertains to the operation of the school so his role as the spiritual and faith leader in the parish and school can be accomplished more effectively.
The same is true for what is required of principals. Over time business operations will be centralized in the regional model, allowing principals to focus their attention and efforts on student outcomes, faith and values, hiring and supporting teachers, and ultimately providing the highest quality Catholic education for their students.
In the regional model the local school must remain an active partner of the parish. The involvement of the clergy in the day-to-day faith activities of the school community is essential to the faith formation of faculty, staff and students. This model would remove the operational activities from the clergy and prioritize the spiritual needs of the school community and parish. Pastors, principals and local boards have been discussing new opportunities to bring school and parish families together as a faith community.
For the coming year each school will retain their own budget. Under the current model tuition does increase each year in small increments and it will continue to do so. Increasing tuition assistance is a top priority for the new region and important steps have already taken place. For example, additional funds from the Catholic Tuition Organization (CTO) are becoming available for the 2023-2024 school year. In addition, a specific portion of the Diocesan Ignite campaign will provide over $1 million in tuition assistance to families in the Des Moines region. The goal is to work towards creating a common tuition model over the coming five years.
Families complete the tuition assistance application online at www.fairapp.com. Applications are accepted beginning February 1st. Tax returns are required for a complete application. All information is kept confidential.
All qualifying families will receive a minimum award based on income and demonstrated need. Demonstrated need takes into account factors such as number of dependents, family circumstances and cost of tuition.