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The Exchange: Iowans speak out on school choice; Nebraska seeks to ease housing crunch; The Children's Blizzard

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This week on The Exchange, Iowans speak out about Governor Kim Reynold’s school choice bill. If the “Students First Act” is passed as written, all students attending a nonpublic school for the first time, and many students already there, will be immediately eligible to receive more than $7,500 to spend on a year’s worth of expenses.

Tuesday night there was a public hearing on House Study Bill 1 at the statehouse and several people spoke both for and against the measure.
We have excerpts.

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Dan Zylstra, of Pella Christian schools, speaking in support of HSB 1, Gov. Reynolds school choice bill at Tuesday night's public hearing in Des Moines

Siouxland Public Media talked to local school administrators on both sides of the school choice issue. The head of Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools and Chad Shook serves as Superintendent and Elementary School Principal for the Lawton-Bronson Community School District.

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Dr. John Flannery, Superintendent of Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools
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Lawton-Bronson Superintendent Chad Shook

Nebraska has not been immune to the decades-long national housing shortage. Research estimates the state needs to build at least 5,000 new housing units every year to keep up with demand.
A 2022 report refers to issues for both renters and owners, and cites multiple contributors behind Nebraska's housing needs.
We talked about the housing shortage with Dave Rippe, of Queen City Development in Hastings. He contributed to the report.

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Dave Rippe of Queen City Development Company

This week we also talk withTom Keating, the head of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, talking about a new plan approved last week by the state board of education to consider a school’s poverty levels when assigning football classifications.
And we talk with women's running champion Lauren Fleshman about her new book, Good for a Girl.
Also, we remember the The Children's Blizzard, which took place January 12, 1888, in another Small Wonder.

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