General regulations

  • Registration and licensing are not required, but schools must be accredited by the state or by an approved accrediting agency.

  • Nonpublic schools must appoint an advisory committee to assist in guiding the school.

  • The Iowa Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Iowa.

  • Homeschooling can be provided by a licensed professional or as part of a free private instruction program enrolling no more than 4 students.

  • The Iowa DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Iowa

State funding sources & support

Iowa does not provide funding for private education, but offers tax credits to families paying tuition as well as to those who voluntarily contribute to private school scholarship funds.

Curriculum requirements

Nonpublic schools must follow Iowa's extensive curriculum guidelines.

Teacher certification & hiring

Teachers must hold licenses/certifications in the area they are hired to teach.

Looking for more?

Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

In Iowa, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.

Length of school year

The school year must consist of 180 days, of which students must attend at least 147.

Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must keep cumulative student records and provide student enrollment information if requested.

Health and safety requirements

Schools must host fire and tornado drills each year.


Nonpublic school students are entitled to transportation the same as public school students.


State agencies provide testing to nonpublic school students in the same manner as public school students.

State and regional associations

Starting a Private School

Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!

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We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone. 

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.

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