The Iowa Department of Education hopes new rules will allow home-schooled kids to be more accurately counted. The department’s Jeff Berger says all home school families must now submit a form outlining the children’s coursework. He says that’s the state’s mechanism for listening to parents who are interested in home schooling and "just making sure that they are actually doing something with their kids." Berger says they have no reason to doubt that parents aren’t doing what they’re supposed to.
Parents did not have to fill out the form before, and Berger says it leaves no reason to doubt that parents are actually educating the kids. Berger says it’s their way of validating that there is a program in place for the child. Berger says the form requires them to have a plan in place.
"They have to identify the sequence of course work, or the content areas that they’re going to be working on," Berger says. Berger says not having an accurate count of homeschoolers has been a source of frustration when lawmakers and others have asked for the information, and the form will give them a more accurate count. Berger estimates there are four-thousand to 45-hundred students.