Completent Private Instruction
©1994-2005 by Ed Dickerson, all rights reserved.
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Help with CPI form

Note: I am not an attorney, and this should not be considered legal advice. It is the fruit of my experience working with parents and with many school districts.
Iowa Compliance Booklet Includes all Iowa compliance, Iowa QnA, and CPI info. Keep it at hand as you filll out the form. 40 pages $5.25 ppd.

The dreaded CPI Form

“Competent Private Instruction” is one of those terms that originated with some poorly-paid lawyer working for the Legislative Service Bureau. It wasn’t meant to frustrate anyone, it’s just the way such functionaries think. Under Iowa law, a child betwen the ages of 6 and 17 falls under one of four categories. And just for the record, the law nowhere describes "competent public instruction." Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
  • Enrolled in and attending an accredited public school.
  • Enrolled in and attending an accredited non-public school.
  • Under "Competent Private Instruction."
  • Truant.
  • Students attending Christian or private schools which are not accredited are legally considered as under Competent Private Instruction. Only there, the non-accredited school has a special form to fill out, and they fill out the equivalent of a CPI for each student enrolled in their school.

    General Considerations

    Much of the dread associated with the CPI form comes from a misunderstanding who sees it, and what they can do with the information. Add to this the shameful scare-tactics of some prominent homeschool advocacy groups, it's no wonder parents approach this form with fear and trembling.
    See On Setting a "Precedent"" here

    First, let me lay to rest the "precedent" silliness when it comes to the CPI form. The simple fact is, it's almost impossible for you to set a precedent by anything you put on the CPI form. So just lay that to rest. I've devoted some more verbiage to that false fear

    Here are several important things to remember about the CPI form.

    The local school district "receives" the CPI form.

    Where are you going?

    They do not:
  • Approve or disapprove of its contents
  • Verify that you are following it
  • Supervise its implementation
  • The only thing they can do is declare that it is

  • Incomplete
  • Except in the cases where you left out a required item entirely, the rest is a matter of how much trouble each party is willing to go to.

    Once you fill it out, what happens to the CPI report?

  • The school district receives it
  • They make up a list including all CPI students, including those in non-accredited, non-public schools, and the HSAP, and send that to the AEA.
  • They make a copy of your CPI form, and send the original to the State Dept. of Ed
  • Where it is filed.
  • I assume the State DOE compiles a list of students who will be assessed, either via testing or portfolio. More on CPI--

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