CPI form improved
This year's CPI (Competent Private Instruction) form is a tribute to the work of involved homeschoolers and government officials who listened to their concerns. You may remember that last year, Home School Legal Defense Association sent our Iowa members an e-lert concerning the 2001-2002 CPI form, which went far beyond the law.
Statutes and regulations govern the type of information the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) can lawfully insist upon or request. But the old CPI form insisted on information it could only legally request and requested information the law allowed it to neither insist on nor request. There were other flaws, as well.
Home School Legal Defense Association explained each problem area to the department and asked officials to correct the form. Representatives of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators subsequently met face-to-face with Iowa DOE representatives to further explain their concerns.
As a result, the department brought the CPI form into substantial compliance with the law for 2002-2003.
Dealing with FERPA
This year, many Iowa school systems sent a notice asking families if they would permit certain personal information about their homeschooled children to be released to the public. It was sent to comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Although FERPA provides significant privacy protection to public school students, it is not clear if it applies to homeschooled students. If parents who receive the notice do not specifically tell school systems otherwise, FERPA actually allows schools to release certain private information.
If your school system sends you a FERPA notice, we suggest you fill it out, indicating you do not want any information about your children released to the public, and send it back.
HSLDA is working at the federal level on an amendment to FERPA to provide greater protection to homeschool families in every state and considering new state legislation to provide greater privacy protection under Iowa law.
— Scott A. Woodruff