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Senator Tom Shipley was in Mount Ayr Saturday January 28.
While spending time with his local constituents, he was asked a few questions about his thoughts, on the future of the district, and his decision to vote against the recent school voucher program..
The senator is currently serving second term in the senate representing the 11th district. The senators background is as follows, Shipley, is a farmer by profession.
He graduated from Villisca High School, received his A.A. from Iowa Western Community College and B.S. in agriculture education from Iowa State University.
For memberships and activities the senator has served 18 years on Villisca School Board, several terms as president and twenty-two years of service for Villisca Volunteer Ambulance.
He is involved as elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, and in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church. He is also active with Iowa Cattlemen’s Association
Born in 1953 in Corning, he was raised and currently resides in Nodaway.
Family members include one daughter and one granddaughter.
He was asked about his choice to vote against the school voucher bill. This is a program which would divert $55 million in public funds to allow individual families approximately $7,000 to go towards sending their child to a private school.
The senator stated from all the information he received from various experts and the public it’s an idea that would have a negative impact on the state of education in Iowa.
The senator agreed that there is no way to apply it equitably.
When asked what he thought the biggest issue for the 11th district was, he didn’t hesitate with response.
The senator stated “We have to have a way to increase the population of our district and retain our skilled talent”.
According to the senator the biggest issue with the 11th district and rural southern Iowa in general is the declining population and having individuals qualified to help grow the economy and improve infrastructure leaving for other communities.
When the senator was asked what influenced his decision to enter politics, he stated he has an overwhelming desire to be a voice for all people in the district.
He wishes to represent all regardless of politics or background.
He wants to be able to speak for everyone he represents.
The Record News reached out to representative Devon Wood for an alternate viewpoint on the school voucher bill which she supported, but no response had been made by presstime.