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Sheriff Tries to Enforce Old Version of Homeschool Law

by Scott Woodruff • November 27, 2018

A homeschool family in north-central Iowa was startled by a sheriff who came to their house—twice in one week—saying that he would press charges unless the parents showed him proof that they were educating their children lawfully. The family—members of Home School Legal Defense Association—asked us for help.

I had a hunch that the sheriff was upset because there was no Form A on file for the family, and that he was unaware that improvements to Iowa’s homeschool law in 2013 give families a right to homeschool without filing the form.

I therefore sent him a letter explaining that the 2013 changes moved Iowa a bit closer to laws in neighboring Illinois and Missouri—states where homeschool parents are never required to file anything. My letter pointed out that as a result, there are hundreds of Iowa homeschool families who have never filed anything with their school system—and never will. The bottom line is that a homeschool family who has never filed a Form A is no cause for alarm.

After I sent this letter on the family’s behalf, the visits and threats from the sheriff stopped.

HSLDA member families enjoy the confidence in knowing that HSLDA is just a phone call away if they ever encounter a misinformed or hostile official. Join or renew your membership today!


Scott Woodruff

Senior Counsel

Scott is a seasoned attorney and homeschool advocate with decades of involvement in homeschool legal issues and cases. Read more.


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