Homeschooling laws vary widely from state to state. The Iowa law and rules may seem quite complicated at first, but NICHE has created a number of resources and forms to help home educators find their way through the maze of regulations.
Below, you will find a brief overview of the legal requirements and options in Iowa. Follow the links to additional helpful resources.
Iowa Homeschool Legal Requirements & Options "Compulsory School Attendance Age"
That's the age range defined by law in which the state has jurisdiction over resident children's educational programs. In Iowa, it is ages 6 to 16. The cut-off date for determining age is September 15 of each year. If, on September 15, your child is age 6, or older than 6 yet younger than 16, you child is of compulsory school attendance age and you must either enroll your child in an accredited public or private school, or you must utilize a legally defined alternative. Note: Five year olds who have been enrolled in a public school are considered to be of compulsory school attendance age under Iowa law. Public School Involvement Levels Available for Children Not Fully-Enrolled in an Accredited Public or Private School (this includes Iowa home educating parents)
In Iowa, there are three basic levels of public school involvement from which to choose:
Home School Assistance Program [HSAP] Accredited public schools in Iowa have the option to provide a HSAP. If the resident public school provides a HSAP, parents choose whether or not to enroll. Schools receive state funds for each enrolled student. Enrolled students are assigned a supervising teacher employed by the school.
Dual Enrollment All public schools in Iowa must provide the option to dual enroll. Parents choose whether or not to dual-enroll. Schools receive state funds for each dual-enrolled student. Dual-enrolled students can access textbooks, classes, extracurricular activities, standardized testing, and other such resources through the school.
No Involvement Parents can choose not to enroll their child at any level in the school.
Be aware that there is a connection between receiving state-funded resources and oversight from governing officials.
Options Available to Parents Who Do Not Enroll Their Children in a Public or Private School Accredited by the State of Iowa (this includes Iowa home educating parents)
(1) CompetentPrivateInstruction[CPI]withreporting includes an annual CPI Report Formfiling requirement, and is defined as: (a) instruction by or under the supervision of an Iowa licensed teacher, (CPI Option 1) which could either be: - through a Home School Assistance Program [HSAP], in which you would be assigned a teacher selected by the school and would be subject to the rules and requirements of the HSAP, or - independently, via a privately-retained Iowa licensed teacher selected by you and subject to arrangements agreeable to you and your teacher, or (b) instruction which demonstrates adequate student progress through annual assessment, (CPI Option 2 with Opt-In reporting) which could either be: - reporting standardized test scores, - reporting evaluation results from student portfolio assessment done by an Iowa licensed teacher, or - submitting an end-of-the-year report from an accredited correspondence school in which the student has been enrolled.
(2)CompetentPrivateInstruction[CPI]withNOreporting (CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out on reporting) which is defined by instruction using a plan and course of study in a setting other than a public or accredited private school. (This is essentially the old "annual assessment CPI option" with the new alternative to choose not to report to the public school, either initally at the beginning of the school year or with assessment results at the end of the year.)
(3) IndependentPrivateInstruction [IPI], which is defined by instruction that is not accredited, enrolls not more than four unrelated students, does not charge tuition, and provides private or religious based instruction in mathematics, reading, language arts, science, and social studies. (This option has no reporting requirements either, but school officials may request that the IPI report very basic and defined details about the IPI, if desired.)
These three options are mutually exclusive. If you choose one, you do not need to do the others.
If you would like to view a chart comparing these different legal options Click Here
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