With excellent test scores several points above the national average, the Hawkeye State is ranked as having one of the best public education systems in the country (10 out of 51 by Alec.org). They do permit homeschooling, but with somewhat higher amounts of red tape than their friendly neighbor Indiana. Under Iowa homeschooling laws, parents must file notification with the state every year, and teach certain subjects, as well as submit to teacher supervision or submit annual assessments.
The notification form for the IA homeschool requirements (called a “Competent Private Instruction” form) includes a listing of complete curricula, immunization record or religious exemption. For children enrolling in homeschool under age six, parents must submit results of blood lead test. Most of the CPI form contents are considered public information unless parents give a privacy notification every year.
If the parent opts for teacher supervision rather than annual testing under Iowa homeschooling laws, then a certified teacher is required to meet with the child twice each 45 days, one of those times in person as well as provide consultation and advising to the parent. The supervising teacher is expected to keep records of meetings and of assessments administered and assistance provided. Parents with the right teacher certification can be their own supervising teacher.
If a parent opts for the annual assessment option, the IA homeschool requirements state that one of several approved national standardized tests must be administered every year, or an accredited report card, a portfolio review by a certified teacher. Students who score below the 13th percentile must go to public school the next year (but they may homeschool the year after that if the test scores go back up), according to Iowa homeschooling laws.
There are also very specific deadlines for these various requirements. The CPI form is due by August 26, unless you’ve just moved there or are starting midyear, then there is a two week deadline. Compulsory attendance under IA homeschool requirements dates from the September 15 that a child is six. Annual assessment is due beginning the year a child is 8 on September 15. It must be conducted by May 1 and submitted to the school system by June 30.
With all the different rules to remember, it is surprising that Iowans have not lived up to their state motto and with a cry of “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain” demanded a repeal of some of the IA homeschool requirements, bringing the Iowa homeschooling laws closer to the freedoms afforded their Illinois neighbors.
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