Iowa Republican‘a Kevin Hall reports:
Iowa Legislature Passes Education Reform
An education reform package passed 91-0 in the Iowa House and 40-10 in the senate. It included a handful of reforms that provide more freedom for homeschool educators. That includes eliminating annual reporting to the state, eliminating requirements for homeschooling educators to assessment reforms to their local school district and allowing parent-taught drivers education.
More particulars were provided in Caffeinated Thoughts – by Shane Vander Hart
Iowa Legislature Approves Landmark Home Education Legislation
The specific home education measures approved by the Iowa Legislature are:
- Optional reporting under Competent Private Instruction. Home schooling families are no longer required to submit Competent Private Instruction forms (CPI) or assessments to their local school district. They can if they like, but they don’t have to. Families can still participate in dual enrollment or home school assistance programs (HSAP) if they like.
- Independent Private Instruction – This eliminates annual reporting to the state, but also allows up to four unrelated students to participate in home schooling.
- Parent-taught Drivers Instruction – Parents are no long required to send their children to drivers education, but can teach their children themselves if they prefer.
Caffeinated Thoughts also reports the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators Legislative Liason’s summarization of the homeschool victory.
The passage of House File 215 marks the beginning of a new era of home school freedom in Iowa. Home school parents will be able to teach their children in the one subject that still required certified instruction outside the home – driver education. It also removes barriers and costs for those desiring to educate their children at home. Not only does it affirm that parents have a right to oversee the education of their children, but it will now be possible and easier for foster parents, single mothers and fathers, and other modern-day families to use this great educational option.”
The Iowa GOP C0-Chair stated this about their education reform stand regarding homeschoolers:
“The Republican Party of Iowa is proud to have taken a bold stand for our platform in advocating that advancing educational freedom be a non-negotiable part of any discussion of comprehensive education reform,” said A.J. Spiker, Iowa GOP Chair.
Iowa GOP Co-Chair, David Fischer, added, “The Republican Party of Iowa is committed to advancing our conservative principles as reflected in our platform. Education freedom is a foundational part of our platform and we were proud to play a role in advocating for non-public education alternatives to be made simpler and more affordable for Iowa families. We know competition and a free market is what rewards excellence and innovation and will result in the best outcomes for Iowa’s kids.”
The Ames Tribune reported on the Senate Education Committee Chair‘s concerns regarding homeschooling:
Lawmakers make push to adjournment
He said the bill wasn’t perfect and blasted the provision that eliminated requirements for parents who home-school their children to report to the state.
“Most home-school parents do a fine job and will continue to do a fine job, but we have a responsibility and there has to be some accountability in the system,” Quirmbach said.
“We’ve abdicated our responsibility … and people will fall through the cracks.”
Wessel-Kroeschell said she wished more money had been included for kindergarten and preschool. Heddens said, “the homeschooling language is something we will have to keep an eye on.”
Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to sign the education reform bill.
Congratulations to Iowa home educators. With the loosening up of state regulations, they will be even more ‘home-free’.