Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Iowa and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Iowa.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
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299.1A Compulsory attendance age.
A child who has reached the age of six and is under sixteen years of age by September 15 is of compulsory attendance age.
299A.3 Private instruction by nonlicensed person.
A parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age providing competent private instruction to the child shall meet all of the following requirements: 1. Complete and send, in a timely manner, the report required under section 299.4 to the school district of residence of the child. 2. Ensure that the child under the parent's, guardian's, or legal custodian's instruction is evaluated annually to determine whether the child is making adequate progress, as defin...
281—31.2 Reports as to competent private instruction.
31.2(1) Reporting. The parent, guardian, or legal or actual custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age who does not enroll the child in a public school or Iowa accredited nonpublic school shall complete a report in duplicate on forms created by the department of education and provided by the resident public school district, indicating the parent, guardian, or custodian’s intent to provide or arrange for competent private instruction for the child for each school year. The report shall be...
281—31.7(299A) Baseline testing and annual assessment.
31.7(1) When required. When a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age provides private instruction to a child without the assistance or supervision of a validly licensed Iowa practitioner as required by law and these rules, and the parent, guardian, or legal custodian does not hold a valid Iowa practitioner license appropriate to the ages and grade levels of the child under competent private instruction, the child is subject to initial baseline testing an...
299.1B Failure to attend--loss of driver's license.
A person who does not attend a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, competent private instruction in accordance with the provisions of chapter 299A, an alternative school, adult education classes, or who is not employed at least twenty hours per week shall not receive a motor vehicle operator's license until age eighteen. A person under age eighteen who has been issued a motor vehicle operator's license who does not attend a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, competent priv...
Home School Assistance Programs (HSAP)
A Home School Assistance Program [HSAP] is a program the local school district may offer to families in their district. School districts are not required to provide HSAPs and parents are not required to enroll their homeschooled students in a HSAP, if their district provides one. The Home School Assistance Programs that do exist across the state of Iowa vary widely as to how they operate and the services they offer, but, in general, all HSAPs provide a supervising teacher for HSAP-enrolled s...
Privacy Form for Dual-Enrolled or HSAP-Enrolled Student
These option forms are recommended to protect your family's privacy. They inform school officials that you want protections afforded by federal and state laws. The form for dual-enrolled or HSAP-enrolled Students notifies school officials that you are claiming federally mandated privacy protections, and that you do not want any information concerning your enrolled child -- including directory information -- to be released to anyone without your prior consent.
299.3 Reports from accredited nonpublic schools.
Within ten days from receipt of notice from the secretary of the school district within which an accredited nonpublic school is conducted, the principal of the accredited nonpublic school shall, once during each school year, and at any time when requested in individual cases, furnish to the secretary of the public school district, within which the accredited nonpublic school is located, a certificate and report in duplicate on forms provided by the public school district of the names and ages of...
Necessary and Optional Forms and Resources
NICHE provides a wide variety of free materials that may be used by home educating families in Iowa.
299A.6 Failure to make adequate progress.
If the results of evaluations, administered to a child of compulsory attendance age who is under competent private instruction, indicate that the student has failed to make adequate progress, the parent, guardian, or legal custodian shall cause the child to attend an accredited public or nonpublic school at the beginning of the next school year unless, before the beginning of the next school year, the child retakes a different form of the same evaluation, or another evaluation from the approved ...
Contract for Home School Consultation
This optional contract is provided to help define and delineate the rights and responsibilities of both parties in a homeschool consultation arrangement: the parents and the teacher. Attorneys with HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) assisted in its production.
299.24 Religious groups exempted from school standards.
When members or representatives of a local congregation of a recognized church or religious denomination established for ten years or more within the state of Iowa prior to July 1, 1967, which professes principles or tenets that differ substantially from the objectives, goals, and philosophy of education embodied in standards set forth in section 256.11, and rules adopted in implementation thereof, file with the director of the department of education proof of the existence of such conflicting t...
Home School Supervising Teacher Visitation Log
This optional easy-to-use form is offered to help supervising teachers keep the required log of their visits with homeschooling families.
299.2 Exceptions.
Section 299.1 shall not apply to any child: 1. Who has completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or has obtained a high school equivalency diploma under chapter 259A. 2. Who is excused for sufficient reason by any court of record or judge. 3. While attending religious services or receiving religious instructions. 4. Who is attending a private college preparatory school accredited or probationally accredited under section 256.11, subsection 13. 5. ...
Immunizations FAQ for Iowa Homeschoolers
This FAQ is an explanation of Iowa laws pertaining to immunizations and exemptions for home schooling families. Home educators in Iowa can take the religious exemption for immunizations. There is no longer a requirement in Iowa stating an applicant must be a member or adherent of a recognized religious denomination or bona fide church to take the religious exemption for immunizations.
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