Statement Supporting Iowa’s House File 214
For Immediate Release: Homeschool Statutes Should Support Homeschooled Children
Canton, Ma., 3/6/15—Iowa lawmakers are considering restoring oversight that has historically safeguarded the interests of homeschooled children in the state. House File 214, which is currently before the house education committee, would provide accountability and support for both homeschooled students and homeschooling parents. “By passing House File 214, Iowa lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they value homeschooled students,” said Rachel Coleman, Executive Director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
Prior to 2013, Iowa did more to protect the interests of homeschooled children than nearly any other state in the country. Parents homeschooled under the state’s “competent private instruction” statute, which allowed parents to choose between homeschooling with the support of a certified teacher and having their children’s academic progress assessed annually by standardized test or portfolio review. This made Iowa’s homeschooling laws one of the best in the country for both homeschooled students and homeschooling parents.
In 2013, an amendment to House File 215 gutted the state’s homeschool law by creating an “independent private instruction” provision. Under this option, parents are not required to notify their local school districts that they are homeschooling or to have their children participate in any form of assessment. “When a state fails to provide protections for homeschooled students or support for homeschooling parents, both groups suffer,” said Coleman. “Under its current law, the state of Iowa does nothing to ensure that homeschooled children receive an education. By passing House File 2014, Iowa lawmakers have the chance to restore their state’s record of protecting the interests of homeschooled children.”
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is a national organization founded by homeschool alumni and dedicated to raising awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, providing public policy guidance, and advocating for responsible home education practices.