1. What are my legal options to homeschool my child?
You have three (3) homeschooling options under current Iowa law:
Independent Private Instruction (IPI)
Competent Private Instruction (CPI) with reporting
Competent Private Instruction (CPI) with no reporting
2. What is Independent Private Instruction?
Through the passage of the Governor's Education Reform bill in 2013, a new homeschool option proposed and sponsored by NICHE, Independent Private Instruction (IPI) was created. Key provisions of Independent Private Instruction are:
An IPI program may enroll up to four (4) unrelated students;
An IPI program may not charge any tuition, though an IPI instructor within an IPI program may charge for his/her services;
The IPI curriculum must provide private or religious-based instruction in mathematics, reading, language arts, science, and social studies; and
Upon written request by the local school district superintendent or the Department of Education director, the IPI parent, custodian, or legal guardian must file "a report identifying the primary instructor, location, name of the authority responsible for the Independent Private Instruction, and the names of the students enrolled."
NICHE has created a template response form that IPI families can use to reply to public school officials who contact them.
3. What is Competent Private Instruction with reporting?
Competent Private Instruction (CPI) has been redefined, through the enactment of the 2013 Educational Reform Bill, but, in essence, "Competent Private Instruction with reporting" operates the same way the previous form of Competent Private Instruction operated.
Families using CPI must file an annual notification report, the CPI Form A. The CPI Form must include an attached outline of course of study and immunization information/exemption (with the initial filing). The CPI Form must be filed by August 26, 2013, for the 2013/14 school year. In school years following, the form must be filed by September 1st.
Competent Private Instruction can be provided
under the supervision of an appropriately licensed Iowa teacher (CPI Option 1), either
through a public school Home School Assistance Program or HSAP (where the supervising teacher is assigned by the public school, and additional requirements can be applied), or
through the private acquisition of the services of an independent supervising teacher (Families seeking referrals to independent supervising teachers in their areas can use the NICHE request form), OR
by an unlicensed parent, guardian, or legal or actual custodian who provides for the child's annual assessment, and the reporting of the assessment results, (CPI Option 2 with Opt-In reporting) either through:
Under the current wording in the Iowa Code, only students under Competent Private Instruction with reporting can access public school dual enrollment.
4. What is Competent Private Instruction with no reporting (CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out)? Under the 2013 Education Reform bill, the law changed this option to allow for the those using the CPI option by a non-licensed teacher to choose not to report to their local school districts or to the department of education.
The only legally defining term in Iowa Code to describe this new option is found in 299A.1(1)(c) as "instruction using a plan and a course of study in a setting other than a public or organized accredited nonpublic school."
All filing and reporting requirements for the newly defined CPI with no reporting (CPI Option 2) were made optional. (Families using this newly option can provide annual notification filing and annual assessment results with their resident public school, but, again, this is not required.)
Students under CPI with no reporting (CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out) will not be allowed access to public school dual enrollment.
NICHE has created a template report that families choosing the new CPI with no reporting option can use, if desired, to reply to public school officials who contact them concerning the educational provisions for their children of compulsory school attendance age.
Families using the CPI option with no reporting (CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out) should be prepared to provide quality evidence that they are meeting the rather subjective definition of Competent Private Instruction, if challenged in court.
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