The NICHE Spotlight on the Iowa Legislature: A Toolbox for Iowa Home Educator Action
Justin LaVan, NICHE President
Here is our current action alert for the 2013 Iowa Legislature
Bill Gustoff, NICHE Iowa Legislative Liaison
The Iowa House and the Iowa Senate have both passed their versions of "education reform," and one of those versions contains great strides in freedom and liberty for home schoolers. The work has now moved to a "conference committee" consisting of five senators and five representatives to hammer out a compromise. This is where the real battle takes place!
If you want to see real educational reform that helps home schoolers, our movement needs to be heard now!!
The conference committee held its first meeting on Tuesday April 9. Whatever comes out of that committee cannot be amended on the floor of either chamber -- the vote will be to accept or reject the report of the conference committee. At last report, the committee had not yet produced a compromise bill.
What You Can Do -- Act Now!
This is when all of those bridges we ask you to build with legislators will pay off. Please contact the members of the conference committee and your own legislators to urge their support of home schooling parents in the education reform legislation. The members of the conference committee are as follows:
We've provided hotlinks on each of their names above which will open a pre-addressed email for your to use in contacting them individually. (This method is the most effective to obtain the attention of these legislators.) If you are pressed for time and prefer to send one email to the entire conference committee, we have included a list of their email addresses below which you can copy and paste into the "TO:" field on your email program.
You can also provide support by emailing your senator and representative, even if they are not on the conference committee. To find the contact information for your sentator and representative, click here.
Keep your email brief and polite, and clearly ask for these legislators' support. Here is some sample language you may adapt or simply copy and paste with minor adjustments to the salutation and signature portions:
Dear <Senator ____ / Representative ____ / Conference Committee Member (if you send a group email)>, Thank you for your service in the Iowa Legislature and your hard work on much needed education reform in Iowa. Ours is one of the quickly growing number of dedicated home school families in Iowa. Iowa home schoolers have worked hard and proven themselves over the last two decades under what is one of the most complicated reporting and oversight structures in the country. Please support home schoolers by retaining the Competent Private Instruction reforms, the new Independent Private Instruction, and Parent-Taught Driver Education that passed the House as part of HF 215. These reforms will reduce the paperwork on families and school districts and allow those most interested in their children's education - parents - to oversee all aspects of their education. Thank you again for your service. <Name> <Address> <Phone> <Email Address>
Lord willing, we can prevail and make great strides to advance home school freedom in Iowa! But, it will require "all hands on deck" through an effective, sustained effort at the grassroots level. Please prayerfully join us in this effort. Thanks for all you to do help home schooling work in Iowa!
Bill Gustoff NICHE Legislative Liaison
Serving Families Homeschooling in Iowa - Since 1992 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators - firstname.lastname@example.org - (515) 830-1614 - (800) 723-0438 in Iowa