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Iowa truancy law relies on citizens to report homeschooling neighbors to authorities

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Beltway Confidential,Education,Joel Gehrke,Iowa,Freedom of Religion

Iowa education officials passed a new rule that renders home-schooled students "subject to state truancy laws," but the policy can't be enforced unless average citizens report their neighbors to government authorities.

Under the rule, public school districts can check up on home-schoolers. "The district has to make a good-faith attempt, they can ask for information,” Mike Cormack, policy liaison for the Iowa Board of Education, told the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

"The next step, Cormack said, would be for someone who thinks a child is not getting classwork done at their home school to contact local authorities," according to WCF.

So the enforcement mechanism, at this point, comes down to having people who are presumably not in their neighbors' homes during the school day report home-schooling families to the authorities. And Iowa does not require reports from home-schooling parents.

Doubtless, these neighbors will never allow personal animosity to influence their decision to have someone investigated.

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