January 14, 2010

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SIOUX CITY, IOWA (Jan. 14, 2010)—In 1974, the passage of Senate File 1163 established 15 area education agencies (AEAs) with the same service areas as community colleges. The AEAs began operation on July 1, 1975.
 
Through voluntary mergers in recent years, Iowa’s AEAs currently total 10, and will become a total of nine with the merger of Green Valley and Loess Hills AEAs on July 1, 2010.
 
With the establishment of the area education agency system, Iowa became a national leader in providing regional, intermediate educational services. The Iowa system continues to be among the most comprehensive and highly respected in the country.
 
Over the years, various legislative initiatives have added new and changing roles for AEAs. In 1996, the legislature approved an accreditation process under which AEAs must demonstrate they meet the standards as defined by the Iowa Department of Education. The scope of services of Iowa’s area education agencies expanded to include, “leadership and services in school improvement to schools and school districts so every learner may perform at higher education levels.”
 
Iowa AEAs are supporting the Iowa Department of Education and local school districts with implementation of the Iowa Core Curriculum.
 
Theme emphasizes partnership, a unified system
The theme of this year-long recognition is "Impacting Lives for 35 Years." Members of the AEA Communications Committee have developed a unified brand that all AEAs will use throughout 2010 to recognize the system-wide 35th anniversary.
 
Watch for updates to be posted throughout the year on the Iowa AEA website at www.iowaaea.org.

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