RIDICULOUS: Iowa bill attacks homeschoolers with MANDATORY home inspections

Democrats in Iowa are attacking homeschooling in a new bill that would call for mandatory health and safety inspections for all families who don’t report to their school districts:

CBN NEWS – Homeschool advocates are speaking out about an Iowa bill that requires school and court officials to conduct health and wellness checks on families who homeschool.

HF 272, introduced by Rep. Mary Mascher, would make homeschool families who do not report to their school district subject to regular home visits.

“The board of directors of a school district shall conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving independent private instruction or private instruction,” the bill reads.

The bill also says these home visits “shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted.”

If parents do not give consent, then “the juvenile court or district court upon a showing of probable cause may authorize the person making the home visit to enter the home and interview or observe the child.”

The bill does not specify what defines probable cause in this case, which makes some homeschool advocates uneasy.

HF 272 also requires homeschool parents to submit proof that their child is up to date on vaccinations, submit their educational plans for approval, and agree to have their children participate in annual academic testing.

Democrats truly hate the idea of homeschooling, so they create ridiculous bills like this to try and make it subject to the public school system.



Advocates of homeschooling are not happy in the least:

“This bill essentially puts homeschooling families on the level of parents who have been accused or have had a finding of child abuse or neglect,” writes Shane Vander Hart, editor of Truth in American Education.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) senior counsel Scott Woodruff said the law is a waste of time and money.

“Rep. Mascher’s HF 272, in addition to resurrecting long-dead paperwork requirements for homeschool families, treats them all like criminals,” Woodruff said. “Without explaining who is going to pay for it — with school and child protective personnel already stretched beyond the breaking point — she wants to command that state agents come into the homes of every single homeschool family in the state four times a year.”

“In what world do we waste money poking into the homes of thousands of people when there is not the slightest reason to believe an individual has done anything wrong?” Woodruff asked. “When people who believe that the government can, and should, solve all problems, this is the kind of utopian dream they dream. Dreams like that only get us closer to an Orwellian world.”

Democrats want to control everything, especially education. How else will they turn the minds of so many students into ‘liberal mush’ if they can’t indoctrinate them in the liberal school system?

I don’t know much about Iowa’s state politics, but a quick look at wikipedia shows Republicans control the state House by 8 votes and the state Senate by 14 votes. Whether or not that alone tells us the bill will never see the light of day, I don’t know. We know there are a lot of RINOs out there and my suspicious is that Iowa has its own share.

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62 thoughts on “RIDICULOUS: Iowa bill attacks homeschoolers with MANDATORY home inspections

  1. I just did some reading. This Iowa Dem Mary Mascher who is sponsoring this bill has been fighting homeschooling for at least 14 years.

  2. With everything going on in the public schools, I have no clue why any parent sends their kids to these schools.

    A recent poll found that 74% of parents want their kids out of public schools but aren’t doing anything about it. Crazy.

  3. Yeah, but the Marxists would fight you tooth and nail if you required a baby slaughterhouse to have access privileges to a hospital.

  4. OK then. Let’s also say that any child who is on a free meal program at school should have his home available for inspection so “officials” can look into their refrigerators, freezers, liquor cabinets, and medicine cabinets to see if a need really exists and protect the children from a drug environment. Oh yeah, and if the parents are spending $40 to $80 per week on cigarettes, money that could be used to feed their own kids.

  5. To be fair – I can see why there may be a desire to inspect home-schoolers just because of some of the cases of abuse that have cropped up. The problem is that these make up a fraction of homeschool families. Most people who homeschool are not abusive parents. I know several families who homeschool and for the most part they are just decent people who either want their children to get a good education (which is harder to get nowadays in the crappy public schools) and/or who want to raise their children with good values. My personal experience with homeschooled children – they are more respectful, responsible, mature and usually better educated. However, there are the cases that make the news of parents who do horrible abusive things to their children and so I can see how there may be a desire to check up on the children… however, a simple doctor’s visit once a year would take care of that, I would imagine.

    1. To be fair? You’re missing the point. The government does not have the right to check on children’s health and safety because they’re being home schooled. Nor does it have the right to require annual doctor’s visits. Zip. End. Period.

      1. I think the government has the right to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens. A child, while not able to vote, still has the right to life. In fact, if you are pro-life, you think that life should be protected while the child is in the womb. Well, the right does not end after birth.

        If a child is at risk, then the government does have the right to intervene. For example, there was a recent situation where a family with 12 children was starving them. One escaped and notified authorities. This kind of thing does happen, unfortunately.

        I do think the pendulum has swung too far. For example, a parent was recently cited for allowing her 12 year old to do chores around other peoples’ farms for money. And parents get cited for abuse for doing normal things like spanking or sending a child to bed without supper. Those are not abusive things, IMHO. But just because the nanny-state is too intrusive does not mean it never needs to intrude.

        There are times when a child’s life really is in danger and the government does need to intervene. There are cases of people who use home-schooling as a methodology to isolate their children so they can abuse them. It’s sad that people are that sick, but we live in a fallen world and people are sinful. Some are so sinful they even destroy their own children. So yes, sometimes having an annual checkup might be a good precaution.

        1. You say “if a child is at risk then the govt has a right to intervene”. Yes, that is true. But the determination that a child may be at risk is based on a report to CPS. NOT based on if that child is being homeschooled.

          Inspecting people’s homes and requiring annual medical exams based on homeschooling is blatantly unconstitutional.

          1. I agree with you re. people invading someone’s house. But aren’t ALL students required to get annual exams? If it’s something that ALL children do, then it’s not discriminatory against home-schoolers.

            OTOH, maybe you are right.. for example, we currently require children to get vaccines. I am not sure how constitutional that is, either, but the reason used is that it’s for the public weal.

            I need to think about what you have said a little bit… you’ve made me reconsider some assumptions. I might end up agreeing with you!

            1. Hi ssohara! I didn’t know that all students are required to get annual physical exams. Is that really true? It wasn’t true when I attended public schools, but that was way back when.

              It seems to me that requiring vaccines is very different from inspecting people’s homes. 4th and 14th Amendments prevent home inspections with no probable cause.

              I did some research on Iowa State legislator Mary Mascher who is sponsoring this bill. She has been a teacher, is all tied up with the teachers unions, and has been fighting homeschooling for at least 14 years. She brings up one bill after another, each based on a different premise, to prevent people from homeschooling.

              It looks like this bill is going nowhere, won’t pass.

        2. If Iowa has the same child protection laws that all other states I know of has, then CPS can act if it has credible information that a child is currently being abused or neglected OR if a child is in IMMINENT danger of being abused or neglected.

          Homeschooling is no indication that a child is being abused or neglected nor is in IMMINENT danger of being abused or neglected. Therefore, according to state laws and the U.S. Constitution, a govt entity cannot go into people’s homes based on if a child is being homeschooled. It is that simple.

          When Texas CPS removed 420 children from their homes on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch in 2008, based on reports that some teenage girls were being married off to older men, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that this move was blatantly unconstitutional and ordered that the children be returned with the exception of a few teenage girls. Because there was no evidence that the children were being presently abused nor were in imminent danger of being abused.

          The head of CPS was forced to resign and a lot of other people lost their jobs over that unconstitutional mess.

          1. Sure, but children are required to get vaccines, etc. I am all for parents being able to avoid getting the vaccines, but part of that does include a doctor’s visit. An annual doctor’s visit for a child (and annual vet’s visits for pets) just seem like no brainers to me. I am not for social workers, etc., invading peoples’ homes just because the people are home-schooling their kids. But if a couple never takes their children to the doctor, never lets them off the property, etc., that seems pretty suspicious to me.

            I guess we may have to agree to disagree. We are both on the “parental rights” end of the spectrum, I would guess – I’m a big proponent of parents being given the freedom to home-school, to not force them to give their children vaccines or any other drugs, etc., but I don’t see an annual doctor’s visit as a problem. I would imagine a concerned parent would WANT to take their child to the doctor annually so that, God forbid, there is a health issue, they can deal with it sooner rather than later.

            1. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the govt the authority to force people, including kids, to get medical exams.

  6. Since the states use the schools to intrude into family life in so many ways, of course it’s going to have a fit that parents refuse to allow them that access to their kids.

    My guess is that 75% of homes will “fail” these checks, and the parents will be ORDERED to deliver their kids to the local indoctrination center school.

  7. I always reduce schooling discussions to its first principle. Who is primarily responsible for a child’s education, the government or the parents? The answer to that question determines the shape of public policy regarding education.

    God made parents the primary educators of their children, so in this case, home visits would require probable cause.

  8. The irony is, in some districts, that if parents want to sit in on a class of their child’s, an appointment has to be made with the school and teacher. And in some districts, they are limited to a certain number of visits a year. smh

  9. I am of the age, my father graduated from eighth grade parochial school. Went to work. His father went to sixth grade. Went to work. Did they have the liberal arts…not a chance. Both eventually created their own businesses. They learned reading, writing, arithmetic and the most important – how to learn. They both had libraries and multiple encyclopedias with the year books. You do not need government controlled schooling to be able to live a just and moral life. America used to be about freedom; life, liberty, and the Pursuit (not the guarantee) of happiness.

  10. I have to be fair here and not jump to the conclusion that it is an intentional attack on homeschooling so they can force them into the public schools to be indoctrinated. Of course, if that’s the reason it would be insanely bad.

    But I suspect that this may have more to do with bad parents…and you all know they exist…that mistreat their children and it’s one of the reasons they don’t want them in public schools. People have locked their children in closets, chained them up, starved them, made them live with feces all over the floor, beat them, and etc. This sounds to me more like an attempt to find those children than it is to punish law abiding and decent home schooling parents.

    1. Whatever the intent is, it is unconstitutional to inspect people’s homes because they’re home schooling their kids.

  11. Not ridiculous at all. Working in the education field, it is well known that many people pull kids out of school for homeschooling not for religious or educational purposes, but because it fits their lifestyles. I know a lot of parent(s) who pulled their kids out of school because they were selling drugs from their house, and they didn’t want to get up to take the kids to school after being up all night. One parent pulled kids outs of school to homeschool because they partied all night and couldn’t get up to take the kids to school. Truancy is a punishable offense for the parents, and they don’t want to face the penalties. This hurts the parents doing it for the right reasons, but the kids need to be protected.

    1. You are not understanding that it is unconstitutional to inspect people’s homes because the kids are being home schooled.

  12. This is what Democrats always supported. Government control over our lives. They just keep pushing more and more of it.

  13. Since the farmers have sold out to farm subsidies/ farm welfare, Iowa has become a lunatic left leaning state.

  14. This is being pushed in Illinois, also. While Iowa has its share of RINOs, there are enough conservatives to stop this bill. The Democrats are pushing a bunch of liberal laws, but aren’t getting anywhere. We’ve been making great strides on gun rights and many of the Dem’s who opposed them were ousted in the last election.

  15. And I knew this would happen 30 years ago when we began taking our children out of school to home school. The government doesn’t get the funding for these kids and it’s all about the money and control. “I’m here from the government and I want to help you.”

  16. I don’t know for sure but I suspect a case from a while back here in Iowa may have something to do with this bill. Evil people kept their kids chained to beds and abused for years one died from undernourishment. I understand the desire to stop this kind of horror but it sounds like this bill goes to far in my opinion.

  17. I am conflicted over this. I understand both sides of the argument. But, there are times when somebody needs to see what is going on with kids. I used to work with abused kids. I have seen some evil stuff perpetuated against children behind closed doors. Some parents aren’t fit to be parents.

    Not sure what the solution is.

    1. Because of the U.S. Constitution, there are not two sides to this argument. No government entity has the right to inspect people’s homes because they’re home schooling their kids.

  18. Well of course they did. How are they supposed to indoctrinate you kids if they’re not in school?

  19. This is absolutely government intrusion. Where is the due process? As President Reagan said, ” The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  20. I have mixed feelings on this because I know people who told the school they were home schooling their kids, when nothing of the kind was going on because the parent was off at work and no one was there teaching them. However, I think this would be better remedied by testing the students to see where they are instead of coming in like the Gestapo. Most homeschoolers would no doubt excel above their public school, grade-level peers, but it would also find any children who are either not being schooled or failing to thrive in that environment.

    1. It is not the government’s right to run around inspecting people’s homes to find kids who are not thriving.

        1. I have no love for CPS, believe me. But CPS does not go into people’s homes without some type of report of child abuse.

          Inspecting homes based on homeschooling is simply unconstitutional.

        2. CPS, by law, has to have a credible report that a child is being abused or is in imminent danger of being abused. They cannot inspect homes simply because a child is being homeschooled.

  21. I don’t know what all this bill entails and so until I did I wouldn’t consider voting for it, however, I absolutely believe that lax home school laws can be harmful to a child’s education. No, I do not think the government has the right to tell you exactly how to home school your child, and as we all know the public school system is a joke, but I do think that any parent who home schools should be accountable to some degree. Otherwise, what keeps a parent from saying they will home school and then not providing appropriate educational material or any educational material (and yes, this does happen).

    As a person who is extremely small government minded it may seem hypocritical for me to hold this view, HOWEVER, you do not have the right to harm a child in any way. Just like you shouldn’t have the right to murder an unborn child, the Constitution does not give you the right to abuse or neglect a child… and make no mistake, not making sure they are getting a proper education is absolutely abusive and neglectful.

  22. This makes me furious!!! This is insane, evil (imo) and should be illegal. You are right about it being all about inconveniencing home-schooled/private-schooling people and giving them serious grief for no good reason. And no doubt, this will be abused. This is a serious problem that is growing in America – with the decline of God in our lives and the U.S. Constitution being under attack EVERY SINGLE DAY, The Left grows more bold and insidious. And you’re right about lying, POS RINOs – they are corrupted too. Once Iowa allowed homosexuals to get “married” (which they aren’t), Iowa has been going downhill ever since.

  23. …..while inspecting….please ensure the little tots know the difference between the Generals Lee…William C. and Robert E….respectively.
    Leave statue desecration to the pigeons.

  24. They couldn’t care less about the health and welfare of the home schooled kids.
    It’s all about control.

    A Democrat is someone who loses their mind if they think they don’t have total control over something that is none of their business.

  25. I noticed the part about vaccinations. What is everyone’s opinion on vaccinating your kids? Should you do it, or should you not do it? I have read a few things that argue both positions, but I have no idea.

  26. Uh oh, the Advocates used the term “Orwellian”. Democrats are products of public education, they don’t know who Orwell was…

  27. Home schoolers don’t pay teacher union dues.
    There you have it. Democrats in bed with the government unions and the union bosses.

  28. “Rep. Mascher’s HF 272, in addition to resurrecting long-dead paperwork requirements for homeschool families, treats them all like criminals,” Woodruff said.

    The offense is homeschooling. Othewise known as the refusal to be indoctrinated by those who say they are for diversity. This is the crime, not turning their children over to leftists.

    When the state acts this way towards homeschool families, does the state think its going to make homeschool familes more likely to send their kids to public school?

    If anything it’ll make those families more likely to move to states like Texas.

    More of the same crap from Dems, “Freedom! As long as you do it my way!” seems to be their motto.

  29. This bill essentially puts homeschooling families on the level of parents who have been accused or have had a finding of child abuse or neglect

    Which is what the leftists consider it, when you won’t turn your child over to be raised by the village.

    No free thinkers allowed. Report for your programming.

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