• In 1957, the Iowa State Legislature allowed counties to join in employing one superintendent to handle the smaller number of school districts.

 

  • In 1965, the Legislature approved the merger of two or more counties into the Joint County School Systems. That same year, the Legislature created the boundaries for 15 merged area schools or community colleges, creating a precedent for service areas within them.

 

  • Because the County Superintendent offices differed dramatically in the breadth and depth of services provided, the Iowa State Legislature replaced county educational systems with 15 area education agencies in 1974 to bring equity, efficiency and effectiveness to all schools. House File 1163 established the AEAs within the same 15 districts as the merged area schools and community colleges.

 

  • Congress enacted what was then the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975. The law is now known as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and today, early intervention programs and services provided because of this legislation has helped more than 200,000 infants and toddlers and 6.5 million children and youths. The special education services within Iowa are delivered by Iowa's AEAs.

 

  • George W. Bush and Congress enacted No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2001. Together, No Child Left Behind and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act hold schools accountable for making sure students with disabilities achieve high standards.

 

  • AEA 12, also known as Western Hills AEA, and AEA 4 merged to become Northwest AEA on July 1, 2006.

 

  • The Iowa Core Curriculum was introduced and will be implemented in all school districts by 2014.