Iowa House Democrats’ assault on homeschooling families in 2019 continues in the form of yet another bill. HF 272, sponsored by State Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa).

Unlike HF 182, another bill Mascher filed this session related to homeschooling, that eliminates independent private instruction HF 272 keeps the phrase “independent private instruction” in the Iowa Code, but requires families selecting that option to submit the same form that was required under competent private instruction.

Families who are providing independent private instruction for the first time would also be required to submit proof of their child’s required immunizations.

That is not the most egregious aspect of the bill. Similar to a bill suggested earlier this year by State Representative Art Staed (D-Cedar Rapids), HF 272 requires health and wellness checks of families who engage in independent private instruction or private instruction.

The bill reads, “The board of directors of a school district shall conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving independent private instruction or private instruction.”

The bill also states that these home visits “shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted.”

If parents do not provide consent then the school district “the juvenile court or district court upon a showing of probable cause may authorize the person making the home visit to enter the home and interview or observe the child.”

Exactly what would that probable cause look like? The bill does not say. It does state the person conducting the visit for the school district shall be considered a mandatory reporter. Also, the school district can collaborate with the Iowa Department of Human Services in performing the required home visits.

This bill essentially puts homeschooling families on the level of parents who have been accused or have had a finding of child abuse or neglect.

The bill drew sharp criticism from the Home School Legal Defense Association.

“Rep. Mascher’s HF 272, in addition to resurrecting long-dead paperwork requirements for homeschool families, treats them all like criminals. Without explaining who is going to pay for it—with school and child protective personnel already stretched beyond the breaking point—she wants to command that state agents come into the homes of every single homeschool family in the state four times a year.  In what world do we waste money poking into the homes of thousands of people when there is not the slightest reason to believe an individual has done anything wrong?  When people who believe that the government can, and should, solve all problems, this is the kind of utopian dream they dream.  Dreams like that only get us closer to an Orwellian world,” Scott Woodruff, senior counsel for HSLDA, told Caffeinated Thoughts.

The subcommittee assigned to HF 272 consists of State Representatives Mary Ann Hanusa (R-Council Bluffs), Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville), and Rastafari Smith (D-Waterloo).

Currently, Homeschool Iowa (Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators) has registered opposition to the bill. The Iowa State Education Association has registered support.

Update: There is an identical bill, HF 100, by State Representative Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) that was introduced late January. This bill was co-sponsored by State Representatives Mascher, Jeff Kurtz (D-Ft. Madison), and Vicki Lensing (D-Iowa City).

Photo Credit: Angelo Mercado via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

45 comments
  1. O great government please protect me from that homeschool mom down the street who minds her business and has a bachelors degree in education. O yes in case you cared the school bus driver is a child porn liking pediphile, the preacher at church abused 3 boys, the teacher at school is sleeping with one of her students and my friends teen commited suicide after being cyberbullied repeatedly. America please vote for better representatives of our country than people whose best… is this. What a waste of time and money for Iowa.

    1. Amen to that!! Wish there was a way to “require” these people to study carefully the book, “Better Late than Early” and to spend time reviewing the considerable research about the superiority of homeschooling. Really appreciated the concise way you (Americanmom) pointed out the many potential, and frequently occurring problems, children can and do meet in the various people involved in public education and elsewhere.

    2. I wonder how many of these politicians could pass a drug test, health test or a basic skills test? So tired of people who do not obey the same laws they pass enforcing them on the rest of us! GRRRRRRR!

  2. Any parent that home schools and goes along with this is nuts. This is total violation of your constitutional rights and I would NEVER allow them in my home and the forcing of poisons into your child’s body is also a violation of the constitution. ANY LAW that violates the constitution is not a law we are required to follow. Stand up. Just say NO! If they do anything to you legally get a lawyer and fight this to the Supreme Court if you have to.

  3. No way would I allow this. If this actually goes through, there will be an exodus of young people leaving the state.

  4. This would only be a start. EVERY American should pay close attention to this. We homeschool our teens, but in a different state. Once the state opens this door, ALL parents will soon be required to pay increase in health and wellness checks. It would just be a matter of time. Constitution? what is that? But the kids will sure as heck know about the Muslim religion and LGBT in history.

    1. Like the article suggests: people who want gov to solve all of worlds problems. They can’t. Especially when they allow criminals to make laws or lose taxes or election funds etc.

    2. hey friend, please don’t insult my awesome (homeschooled!) son with an intellectual disability by comparing these liberal politicians to him. There are so many creative insults to use in the world, and so very many of those apply well to the people pushing these laws. Please try not to use this specific one anymore!

  5. Allowing governments to REMOVE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS including raising OUR children the way God intends for them to be raised so that governments can claim OUR children who are GOD’S children as their own, is FOOLISHNESS! Since when do STATE governments have the ability to USURP federal laws in this country??? Since the people elect Constitutional treasonists! STOP LEGISLATING YOUR WILL AGAINST THE PEOPLES’ RIGHTS and wills!! And people SPEAK UP and OUT against this kind of soul-mind-body-right-stealing corruption!!! This is the first step toward a dictatorship in America.

    1. The steps of control began years ago. Once the FED took control of the people’s money (1913), the rest was easy. Your water, your food, your medical choices, your education, the very air you breathe is now being usurped by the powers that be. WAKE UP, PEOPLE WAKE UP, PLEASE!

  6. So wrong!!! Is this is just another way to keep people from homeschooling their children from trying to give them a better education than they can receive in a public school. Why would you do this this, it is nothing more than government bullying. There are children that go to public schools everyday and are not cared for properly that live in homes that they should be taken out of. Their in the public school system their homes don’t have to be infringed upon by government to see how they live. If I choose as an American citizen to give my family a better way of life a different way of life than what the public does that is my choice as an American citizen and that right should never be infringed upon by any form of government whatsoever this tyranny needs to end.

  7. SO if they’re going to target one group “homeschoolers”, they’d better be ready to target all the other people groups in society as well… LGBTQ, Single-Parent households, Married households, Muslims, Buddhists, Jewish, JW and all the other religions and 47-genders they’ve so-called identified just to be fair.

    1. My thoughts exactly. They need to include public school kids too. Go to EVERYBODY’S houses and violate EVERYBODY’S Constitutional rights. Then, we’ll see how long they stay in office and it takes for the uprising.

  8. Perhaps the legislators could amend this proposal to be applicable for ONLY those who have had a history of abuse, imprisonment, domestic violence, have had previous involvement with CPS, have had a drug abuse history, etc.?

  9. The government does not want us home schooling. They want to indoctrinate our kids in the liberal agenda. Our son went to school. We made sure at home. To teach him what school didn’t.

  10. Keep those s.o.b’s out of our homes! We know that because of such a bill, hundreds maybe even thousands of innocent children will be forcibly removed under FALSE accusations and placed into institutions to be drugged by the biggest abusers the State.

  11. When you study the 2 cases of abuse that led up to the creation of this bill (and others currently in IA that call for more oversight for Iowa homeschoolers) you will find that in both situations, the parents had been reported for child abuse more than once! Natalie Finn was adopted from foster care. While she was a public school student, her principal and school nurse reported her. Later, a neighbor reported she was going around the neighborhood begging for food. That was May 31. DHS didn’t even get in that house to see the kids until August 16th! Natalie was “homeschooled” from August-October when she died. Homeschooling was not the problem, DHS was. The manditory reporters in her life were not the problem. DHS was. The “village” in her life did what they were supposed to do and reported the abuse. DHS failed to act in a timely manner and they failed to thoroughly investigate the allegations. Sabrina Ray was also adopted from foster care. She lived in a home that was used as a licensed daycare for pete’s sake! State workers (should have) been periodiocally checking on her home for daycare compliance. Sabrina’s parents had also been reported on two separate occasions for child abuse! Malaya Knapp was also adopted from foster care. She lived in a home with 8 other children. From 2012-2015, numerous social workers visited the home because the family was still going through the adoption process with other children. Malaya said none of the social workers ever checked the basement or talked to the older children about what their family/home was like. In May 2015, Malaya finally told a social worker she was locked in a room with no food and a pitcher of water for 7 days. Police investigated and found the home to smell of urine/feces more than a pet smell, yet none of the children were removed and the case was closed. She ran away in Dec 2015 and reported the abuse. Even after her parents were convicted of assault and abuse, SEVEN of their children continue to reside in their home. In a national study composed by the “Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities,” they found that the number one risk factor for child abuse/neglect fatalities is when a family under current investigation has a prior report of abuse or neglect. All 3 girls fall under that category. Multiple reports of abuse and not enough done to protect the children. Not once in the study did it mention the use of homeschooling as a risk factor. NOT.ONCE.

    In this country, we are all “innocent until proven guilty.” We shouldn’t criminalize an entire group of people because of a few bad eggs. I know some bad legislators. Should we come to their homes 4x a year to grill them and look around? ALL of them? Not just the ones who have been reported for possible criminal activity? I know some bad teachers. Should we come to their homes 4x a year to grill them and look around? ALL of them? Not just the ones who have been reported for possible criminal activity? Some kids who attend public school are abused. Should we visit the homes 4x a year of every family in the school to question them? Even the ones who have never been reported for possible criminal activity? Some children are abused and die before they reach the age of compulsory attendance. Should we visit all of their homes as well to make sure none of those kids are being abused, even though their parents have never been reported for suspected criminal activity?

    The Supreme Court has affirmed that we all have “the right to be left alone,” “The child is not the mere creature of the state,” and ““The custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. . . . It is in recognition of this that these decisions have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.”

    Unless and until there is a belief that a homeschool family is doing something criminal to their children or in the home, we have every right to be left alone. The end. 🙂

  12. And one more thing….I am tired of liberals telling me that I can do whatever I want to that baby before it’s born. But once it’s out, they get to dictate everything I do as a parent. Educational choice, vaccines, manditory blood tests….are you kidding!? Be consistent, liberals.

  13. This is a DIRECT effect of the never ratified 14th Amendment, which makes tax slaves of Americans who accept the 14th Amendment citizenship, and places them under the jurisdiction of Congress. It also makes the children of U.S. citizens chattel property of the Police State, just like their parents.
    All in all, I would be willing to bet that the insurgent federal so called government and their subsidiary states would go to ANY length to continue their forced indoctrination and inoculation of American children.
    Apathy has its price.

    1. Darryl, it was ratified. States that first rejected later ratified it. It may have been a coerced ratification, but it was still ratification. Also, your interpretation of the 14th Amendment is troubling.

  14. Dont the teachers already come for testing?? . But to have social services come to the home is an invasion by the state!!!! And should not be allowed!!! I think this is an attempt to discourage parents from having choice!!! I am for choice in education!!!

  15. You know, I have a situation where I have to home school, due to mytt child not being able to function in a regular school environment due to his medical conditions. That and the school failed to address the needs my child was needing. And due to their ineffectually education of my child, all the progress I had made over the summer vanished, and then he started acting out to the point I had no choice but to home school him now. My child is not abused by home schooling, but my child in a way has been abused by a school system that is unwilling to make arrangements to better educate my child. All of what we have gone through has been a nightmare, and now you want to mess up his education again. We have made so much progress….

  16. My friends, the end game is control by the state so they alone can indoctrinate our kids. Don’t sleep on this.

  17. Parents are homeschooling their children in the first place because they do not accept the authority, competence or morality of the state to educate their children.

  18. We need to communicate with our state representatives and state senators regularly. We need to communicate with our US senators and US representatives. The people who represent us need to know what we think about issues. Show up at town hall meetings, call, e-mail them. Be respectful but firm. As the saying goes, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’.

    1. Our homeschooling laws are actually quite good. This bill, fortunately, was DOA when it got to the subcommittee.

  19. The problem with red flagging those who have had cps visits is that often people call cps on others for the stupidest reasons. Take our family for example. Our dentist of 7 years called cps on us for dental neglect after we adopted a special needs child from a 3rd world country. There was a problem with the ins and we couldn’t get all the dental work done($1500 worth) for awhile but we informed the dentist and they said ok. Then when ins finally covered our daughter we went in right away only to be told we were neglectful. The social worker who visited us and our 4 kids(plus one more on the way) saw what a bogus claim this was praise God and it was deemed unfounded. Scariest thing ever though. Self righteous professionals are everywhere now a days who know better than the parents.

  20. Oh H**L no. My daughter is home school and anyone is welcomed to check on her but don’t EVER think you are going be all up in MY business. I raise her not any or everyelse!!!!!!!

  21. There is so much abuse and bullying in the Public School System that Parents must commit to being their children’s evaluators, staying informed, visiting the classrooms, following up on red flags, etc. Parents have the rights to pull out their children from Public Schools and provide Home Schooling.

    This report states nothing about the quality of Home Schooling Educational Requirements?
    It’s states; HF 272 requires quarterly health and wellness checks of families who engage in independent private instruction or private instruction.
    The reasoning behind this? Who’s going to pay for this and the staffing will they be qualified, educated in this area and criminal finger prints required??? Lots not covered here!

    If this is a PROPOSED REQUIREMENT of Home Schooling, then it needs to be required of our Public Classrooms and Schools as well!

  22. I would like to propose a bill allowing homeschool parents to return the favor and make 4 yearly visits to their home to ‘observe’ them in their own environment to see if they are ‘up to par’ wit’s Big Brother.

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