Originally Sent: 12/9/2015

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Freedom Wins: Reading Screenings to be Optional

Homeschooling in Iowa.

Thanks for defending homeschool freedom.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Iowa Department of Education posted new guidance for public schools late Friday stating that they must offer reading screening and follow-up services to HSAP and dual-enrolled students, but they may not require those families to participate. This is victory both for common sense and freedom.

(A Home School Assistance Program provides teachers, books and other resources to home educators through the public school system).

Assuming your school district follows the department’s guidance, they will send you a letter (if your 3rd grade or younger child is dual-enrolled or in a HSAP) asking if you want to have your child screened to see if he or she has a reading deficiency. It will look like the letter in Table I1 in this document.

If you don’t want your child screened, you can simply ignore the letter. Or you could write back and decline the offer, if you would prefer.

If you pulled your child out of a HSAP or dual-enrollment program solely because of the threat of mandatory reading screenings and follow-up, I am fully comfortable recommending that you put your child back in the program.

We appreciate the department’s willingness to work with us on this issue.

HSLDA members should contact us promptly if a school district does not treat the screening and follow-up services as optional for dual enrolled and HSAP families.

Since these events have raised the issue of literacy, this is an excellent time to remember the outstanding success homeschool families have achieved. I filed an affidavit in federal court several years ago summarizing many studies and sources of data that point to the academic excellence of homeschooling. You can view it here (pardon the coffee stains).


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

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