2020 Candidate Survey


Every election cycle, we receive inquiries from homeschoolers asking which political candidates are the most supportive of homeschooling.

And every election cycle, we are asked for help by various candidates running for public office.

The short answer in both cases is that we can’t provide that — at least not in terms of specific candidates or parties. Homeschool Iowa is a 501(c)(3) organization that does not endorse candidates for public office, but we can provide nonpartisan information about persons seeking office in our state.

Toward that goal, we created a simple online survey to collect candidate positions on a specific set of issues of interest to homeschoolers in Iowa, and we sent invitations to those registered as candidates for seats in the Iowa Legislature.

View our survey questions
and the responses we received below. 
(We'll update if new responses are submitted.)

Make sure to scroll down to the 
Homeschool Experience section, where
candidates share their personal backgrounds
and practical knowledge of home education. 

Not sure in which Senate or House district you reside? Click on the maps below to view the current districts or click on the button to access the Iowa Legislature's interactive district finder map.


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Iowa Legislature's Interactive District Finder Map

2020 Homeschool Iowa Candidate Survey


PARENTAL RIGHTS


If Congress adopts and refers to the states an amendment to the United States Constitution that will guarantee parents a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, will you support the ratification of that amendment?



Homeschool Regulation

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Iowa law currently allows parents who receive no services or materials from the State to homeschool their children without annual or other reporting, while requiring those who access State resources to file some kind of annual report with some form of assessment. Indicate what you think the regulatory level of homeschooling in Iowa is right now:



Tax Credits


Do you support legislation to allow home schooling parents to deduct tuition and textbook expenses on the same basis as public school and private school students?



CHILD CUSTODY & EDUCATIONAL SETTING


Do you support legislation creating a rebuttable presumption that it is in a child’s best interest to remain in his or her current educational setting in the event of divorce between the parents?



Compulsory Age

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Will you oppose any efforts to expand the range of the compulsory school attendance age in the state of Iowa?



Grandparents' Rights


Will you oppose any legislation to allow a court to impose visitation or other rights for grandparents against the wishes of a parent whose parental rights have not been terminated? 



Parental Medical Authority

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Will you oppose State-mandated testing and medical procedures (e.g., vision screening tests, dental checkups, vaccinations, and other basic care needs) that should be left to a parent’s determination of what is best for his or her child?



Homeschool Experience


What is your personal experience with homeschooling or homeschoolers?


Jeff Taylor (R) Iowa Senate District 2:
I was educated by public schools K-12. I believe in the value of both public education and private/Christian education. I also believe in the value of homeschooling. Over the years, a significant number of my friends have homeschooled their children.

Craig Williams (R) Iowa Senate District 6
Our nieces and nephews are/have been homeschooled. Several friends homeschool. The COVID issues brought surprising revelations into our home about what some relatives were and were not being taught in school in Illinois.

ToyA Johnson (L) Iowa Senate District 16
I supplement my children's' education with homeschooling.

Brad Zaun (R) Iowa Senate District 20
I know hundreds of families that homeschool.

Henry Stone (R) Iowa House District 7
My wife homeschooled some of our children, and we sent some of our children to private school as well.

Glenn Kiss (D) Iowa House District 8
I have no homeschool experience. I am concerned that parents who homeschool will not sufficiently have good teaching qualifications.

Ryan Marquardt (D) Iowa House District 25
I have some close friends who have always homeschooled their four children. Both of my kids went to private Montessori Pre-K, and one continued through first grade. My kids are now in public school, and the home options are poor quality.

Aaron Sewell (R) Iowa House District 42
I was homeschooled from 1st grade up until my sophomore year in high school (I wanted to play football). In reflection, it was a very beneficial experience for me because of the way I learned and the patience, love, and attention I could only get at home.

Eric Cooper (L) Iowa House District 45
I know some people who homeschool.

Karen Koenig (D) Iowa House District 54
As a classroom teacher in a public school, I have known some students that came to school for extracurriculars. Some were quite exceptional! That was a positive exposure. My stepson was also "homeschooled" very poorly. That was a negative example.

Anne Osmundson (R) Iowa House District 56
I homeschooled for 15 years, and all of my grandchildren are homeschooled.

Sandy Salmon (R) Iowa House District 63
We homeschooled our three sons all the way through high school and were part of a homeschool cooperative from 1989-2007. I led a homeschool 4-H club for 14 years. Our three sons currently homeschool our school-age grandchildren.

Chad Ingels (R) Iowa House District 64
I have served on the local public school board for over 20 years, but have extended family who have homeschooled for a portion of their children's education. I also know community members who homeschool, but do not know many of the details involved.

Barrett Hubbard (R) Iowa House District 66
We have never homeschooled our children, but it has always been an option that we would consider. I know many families that have chosen that route because it is what is best for their family.

Lou Rogers (R) Iowa House District 68
My wife and I have really enjoyed being able to teach and instill in our kids great American and Christian conservative values that are virtually non-existent in the public school setting.

Myra Matejka (L) Iowa House District 70
I am a mother of four. My older three have been in public school, my youngest is homeschooled. My sisters have homeschooled all ten of my nieces and nephews. My parents were both teachers.

Dean Fisher (R) Iowa House District 72
I have relatives that have homeschooled for two generations now and have done very well in teaching their children to be good, solidly successful citizens. I have known many other homeschool families, and they have all been impressive.

Jeff Shipley (R) Iowa House District 82
Homeschool families seem to share lots of love and success.


Additional Comments


Craig Williams (R) Iowa Senate District 6
I do not understand the objections to homeschooling. Every parent should be able to decide what is in the best interest of their child.

ToyA Johnson (L) Iowa Senate District 16
Please visit FamiliesUnite.org for more information on my work in Family Law Reform.

Henry Stone (R) Iowa House District 7
Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have after reading my answers.

Aaron Sewell (R) Iowa House District 42
I have a great appreciation for kids learning in different ways and in different settings. I teach 4th grade in a public school (love it), but I understand students learn in different ways.

Eric Cooper (L) Iowa House District 45
I would like to give parents more choice in where they school their children by attaching any State money used to subsidize education to the students themselves.

Karen Koenig (D) Iowa House District 54
I believe a person's education depends upon the individual and those working with that individual. If the teacher/parent is willing to work with the child(ren), homeschooling can be a very positive experience.

Sandy Salmon (R) Iowa House District 63
I have been a strong supporter of homeschool freedoms and opportunities during my time in the legislature.

Myra Matejka (L) Iowa House District 70
I am a huge advocate for school choice. You can view my policy on school choice here: https://matejkainthehouse.com/school-choice

Jeff Shipley (R) Iowa House District 82
I'd like to create Education Savings Accounts with the "State Cost Per Pupil" dollars and allow individual private instruction to qualify with no strings attached. Our education system is the most expensive mess in Iowa.


Ways to Help


We invited candidates who completed our survey to share ways homeschoolers could help with their campaigns. Here are their responses, if offered:


Jeff Taylor (R) Iowa Senate District 2
www.taylor4senate.org
(I'm running unopposed in the November election.)

Craig Williams (R) Iowa Senate District 6
www.williamsforiowa.com

Email other homeschoolers, literature drops, yard signs, letters to the editor.

ToyA Johnson (L) Iowa Senate District 16
ToyA4Iowa.org
Like and share Facebook page, Twitter, and website. Donations of time in the form of phone banking, door knocking, and/or hosting meet-and-greets. Financial contributions. Please visit facebook.com/ToyA4Iowa for more information.

Brad Zaun (R) Iowa Senate District 20
bzaun.com

Volunteer to do literature drops or door knocking.

Henry Stone (R) Iowa House District 7
facebook.com/hstoneiahouse

Ryan Marquardt (D) Iowa House District 25
ryan4iowa.com

Spread the word via word of mouth or social media. Reach out to me and help me to know about your experiences.

Aaron Sewell (R) Iowa House District 42
www.sewellforiowa.com

Literature dropping, networking, spreading the word, hosting a yard sign, sign waving.

Eric Cooper (L) Iowa House District 45
www.cooperforfreedom.com

Mainly by voting for me and by word of mouth.

Simon Abela (R) Iowa House District 53
abela4Iowans@gmail.com
We need to bring God to our schools, teach history and geography like other countries, and a foreign language or two.

Karen Koenig (D) Iowa House District 54
facebook.com/KoenigforHR54/
I appreciate support in many ways - writing postcards, sharing on social media, etc.

Anne Osmundson (R) Iowa House District 56
osmundsonforIowa@gmail.com
Literature drop on doorknobs. Calling voters that have received their absentee ballots and encouraging them to vote for Anne Osmundson.

Sandy Salmon (R) Iowa House District 63
www.sandysalmon.org

Phone calling.

Chad Ingels (R) Iowa House District 64
facebook.com/ChadIngelsIA/

Host yard signs. Write letters to the editor.

Barrett Hubbard (R) Iowa House District 66
www.barretthubbard.com

Door knocking. Holding signs on election day.

Lou Rogers (R) Iowa House District 68
lourogers.us/
Keep me informed of the issues that are currently affecting you.

Myra Matejka (L) Iowa House District 70
MatejkaInTheHouse.com

Any endorsement and sharing of policy would be amazing.

Dean Fisher (R) Iowa House District 72
DeanFisher.com

Campaign financial support, word of mouth, and voting!

Jeff Shipley (R) Iowa House District 82
www.peaceloveiowa.com

Host small gatherings to become acquainted and create genuine human connection.


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