Iowa's Area Education Agencies (AEAs) work together as a system to ensure all Iowa children have equal opportunity for an exceptional education. Advocates including teachers, school administrators, parents, community members, and AEA staff can support the AEA's mission by sharing their stories with their legislators or their AEA. Here are ways to get informed and advocate for your AEA. If you need any support, contact your AEA's communications staff.
- Summary of House File 2612
- Summary of Senate File 2386
- Amendment Summary — Updated Feb. 1, 2024.
- This Programs and Services Document — Provides you with bullet points on Iowa's AEAs including quick key facts and a summary of the many ways Iowa's AEAs support our schools.
- Media Coverage — Coverage of AEAs published across the state of Iowa.
- Gallery for Advocacy — Suite of social media ready graphics and descriptions of what may be at risk due to proposed legislation.
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Results — Percentages of respondents who agree or strongly agree that the AEA services meet or exceed expectations.
Concerns with Proposed Legislation
Impact on Children's Education
- The proposed bill poses a significant threat to the quality of education our children receive. Eliminating educational services, media, and technology support means a direct reduction in resources available to students, hindering their ability to access essential learning tools and information.
- It’s important to know that our state’s educators believe that all children are general education students first- that means we support all of them with many of the same resources, and then add additional resources according to a student’s specific needs.
- In Iowa, most children receiving special education services are educated in a general education classroom. Our AEA system intertwines all the resources a student receiving special education resources needs to best support quality outcomes. Isolating special education services from our other services reduces a teacher’s ability to support all of his or her students.
- Content area consultants play a vital role in supporting teachers and students, especially those facing challenges in their learning journey. The bill's impact on removing this support undermines the strategic assistance needed to address the diverse learning needs of students.
Loss of Professional Development
We all appreciate that teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future of our children. The bill's elimination of professional learning opportunities and content area consultants directly impacts educators' abilities to enhance their teaching methods and support struggling learners effectively.
Strain on Rural Schools
Smaller rural schools will bear the brunt of this proposed legislation. With the removal of educational services and technology support from the services available for their districts, rural schools will struggle to meet the diverse needs of their students, exacerbating existing disparities in educational opportunities.
Financial Burden on Schools
Schools will have inadequate funding to replace the services that are being lost. As many of our mid-sized and smaller rural districts begin reviewing the money that is currently flowing through their district to the AEA, they’re finding that those funds fall dramatically short of what would be needed to replace the services being lost.
Job Loss in the Education Sector
The proposed bill not only affects students and teachers but also has severe implications for employment. Each AEA will reduce many positions, creating a ripple effect of economic hardship and increased unemployment in the education sector.
Access to Digital Resources
Students today rely heavily on digital resources and online databases for their academic pursuits. The removal of these resources due to the bill will hinder students' ability to complete homework assignments and research, potentially hindering their academic performance. These resources are purchased at consortium prices and made available statewide in a process that benefits all Iowa students.
Threat to Special Education
The bill's failure to adequately fund special education services places a disproportionate burden on schools, jeopardizing the quality of support that students with special needs receive. This not only affects the students but also places additional strain on teachers and staff responsible for their care.
In Iowa, most children receiving special education services are educated in a general education classroom. Our AEA system intertwines all the resources a student receiving special education resources needs to best support quality outcomes. Isolating special education services from our other services reduces a teacher’s ability to support all of his or her students.
Overall Impact on the Future
We can’t stress enough that the repercussions of this bill extend beyond the classroom, affecting entire communities, and an entire generation of students. Education is an investment in the future of our society. The proposed bill, by undermining the quality of education and support services, jeopardizes the future success and well-being of our children. It is imperative to consider the long-term consequences and work towards a solution that prioritizes the needs of our students, families, and educators.