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State Officials Consider Rules Changes For Home Schooling

Des Moines, Iowa — State officials may get rid of a limit for how long a student who’s being home schooled, but monitored by a licensed teacher, may also attend classes in a public school district. It’s called “dual enrollment” under “competent private instruction.”

Current state rules say those students may attend their local public district for 75 percent of the school day. Iowa Department of Education legal counsel Thomas Mayes says comments made at a public hearing have persuaded the agency to at least think about changes.

Home-schooling parents in Iowa have the option of being independent, with no oversight by licensed educators. Home school parents who do meet with a licensed teacher regularly and dual enroll their child in a public school are also asking for access to teacher’s guides. Under current rules, they are entitled to the same textbooks being used in public school classes. Mayes says there are concerns about test security and licenseing agreements with publishers.

According to Mayes, agency staff considering these issues have the power to make changes through the state’s administrative rules process.

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