Iowa's AEAs commit to five-year reorganization proposal 

Earlier this month, the Governor's Education Policy Advisor (Linda Fandel) and the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committee (Walt Rogers and Amy Sinclair) directed Iowa’s AEAs to look for increased efficiencies through the AEA system. The AEA chief administrators met with Senate and House Education Committee leadership to ensure a common vision and timetable for this task and had a discussion around the development of a five-year plan designed to maximize efficiencies in Iowa’s AEAs while creating greater equity of services for all Iowa students.

Tom Lane, Iowa’s AEA executive director, has been following up these conversations, and we have collaborated on an agreement. Senators Sinclair and Kraayenbrink (Chair of Education Appropriations Committee) have agreed to language that calls for a reduction of AEAs from nine to seven and a reduction of AEA chief administrators from nine to seven. The timeline for accomplishing this will be five years. We anticipate this language will be added in a late standings or appropriations bill before the session ends in April. This language provides the AEAs with a reasonable timeframe, while also providing a firm commitment to legislators. A five-year restructuring plan will help ensure a re-aligned AEA system that further enhances equity, innovates new statewide systems and helps us better articulate these efficiencies to all stakeholder groups.

The AEA system is committed to providing regular, timely updates as more details of this long-term process unfolds. A five-year timeline will allow the AEA system time to develop a restructuring plan that makes the most effective use of its employee base and resources to serve schools and families. Our focus will remain on our work with students and families in northwest Iowa.

As always, be sure to check out our blogs, which we hope will inform, inspire and guide your daily work:

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Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator