When House File 214, which seeks to repeal independent private instruction in Iowa, was filed, The Iowa Statesman sought an explanation from the group of House Democrats who sponsored the bill. Over the weekend, one of those legislators responded.
State Rep. Marti Anderson (D-Des Moines) gave the following response:
“I apologize for the delay in my answer. I support HF214 because all children in Iowa under the age of 16 are required to attend public school, private school, or competent private education. Private education is what we refer to as home schooling.
“All three forms of education result in children who are prepared to reach their best potential and follow their dreams. Iowa has long assured the quality of education by assuring that children learn the essential skills needed for life as an adult and a good citizen.
“HF214 simply reinstates the same accountability for home schooling as for public and private schooling that existed prior to 2013. Parents are authorized to home school their children. The local school board is required to provide a Home School Assistance Program and employ a Home School Specialist for parents to consult with if needed.
“I believe in education. I have known and respected home schooling parents from the 1970s to today. I attended parochial schools, and my stepchildren, nieces and nephews have attended public schools. Iowa has compulsory attendance and progress assessment to assure the future of our children. Accountability for children’s education works. This is why I support HF214.”