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Iowa Student Living in Texas Collides with Driver’s License Obstacle

by Scott Woodruff • December 4, 2018

An Iowa homeschool mom sent her daughter to live temporarily in Texas so the daughter could participate in a pre-professional program there. In addition to career training, this program provided housing and set aside time every day for the students to do schoolwork independently, since many of them were not yet high school graduates.

During the daughter’s time in Texas, the mother and daughter maintained a long-distance homeschool program that complied with Iowa law, and the daughter maintained her status as an Iowa resident.

When the mom applied to teach parent-taught driver’s education under Iowa law, however, a state official turned her down. The official asserted that the daughter was really participating in an out-of-state boarding school and was therefore not being homeschooled.

Since they are members of Home School Legal Defense Association, the family contacted us for help. I wrote a letter to the Iowa official explaining that while the pre-professional program provides a “study hall” for schoolwork and an “education coordinator” to make sure the young people in the program are making progress toward a high school diploma, the program itself does not provide a high school education to anyone, as explained on its website.

I pointed out that the young woman’s parents were making sure she complied with Iowa compulsory school attendance law. I urged the official, on this premise, to treat the young woman like any other Iowa homeschool student.

The official agreed and cleared the mother to teach parent-taught driver education.

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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