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 The newly designed SF 149 traveled first to the Demo-

crat-controlled House for approval. There, it quickly and

easily passed and was rushed across the rotunda to the

Democrat-controlled Senate. The circumstances appeared

grim, at best.

 Homeschoolers packed the Senate chamber balcony in

silence to watch the proceedings. The floor debate com-

menced. Well-worn statements, both pro and con, were

orated. Then, a quite unexpected thing happened.

 Senator Jim Riordan, recognized as a loyal Democrat,

rose to speak. Yes, this was the same Senator Riordan

who had been invited to a meeting of the Dallas County

Homeschool Support Group just months earlier! Sena-

tor Riordan boldly proclaimed his opposition to SF 149.

Why? Because he was aware that this bill would adversely

affect the homeschooling families he had come to know

personally in his district – folks who he had regularly seen

and heard, faithfully petitioning the legislature for pro-

tection. Senator Riordan declared that home educators

should have the freedom, based upon the Constitution to

practice their beliefs, and announced that he would vote

against SF 149. (Senator Riordan later noted that several

Democrat Party leaders had rebuked him for taking this

action.) Following Senator Riordan’s remarks, several other

senators rose to defend the right to homeschool from a

Constitutional perspective.

 At last, it came time for the final vote. Homeschoolers

in the Senate gallery were praying fervently. The votes

were tallied: 25 for the motion to approve the bill, and

24 against. Homeschoolers in the gallery gasped as they

sensed defeat. Yet, God was not finished. The Senate Presi-

dent Pro Tempore announced that the motion needed an

absolute majority – in other words, the motion needed 26

votes – to pass.

Continued on page 10

Extensive mediation and violation sections, with

punishments defined up to thirty days in jail or fines

of $1000.

Stipulations that required truancy officers to im-

mediately report suspected truants to the county

attorney – and that required the county attorney to

investigate unexcused absences to determine if the

child required CINA.

Conditions allowing only homeschools in which an

Iowa licensed teacher provided the children direct

instruction an exemption from a long list of addi-

tional requirements (no private supervising teacher

arrangements were defined).

Directives that required all students in homeschools

without an Iowa licensed teacher providing direct

instruction to:

Undergo an initial screening by the Area

Education Agency (AEA) or other approved

source to determine whether the child needed

special education services – under the condi-

tion that this initial screening be completed

by June 1 of the year before the child began


Submit to annual testing to determine wheth-

er adequate progress was being made, and

Dual enroll in the public school – and every

school district was required to hire licensed

personnel to “provide instructional services

on a consulting basis” to dual enrolled home-

schooled students.