Based on an extensive review of a variety of data sources which speak to the needs of our educational partners, a near final draft of the agency’s plan for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or “stimulus” funds is now available. The plan calls for a variety of “focus areas” or initiatives, including:
- Saving Current AEA 267 Positions:Â Approximately 14 positions that would have been reduced or retirements not filled will be maintained.
- Early Childhood:Â Provide intensive support to districts in birth-age three, ages three-kindergarten, and first through fifth grades.Â This focus area would include support for literacy, math, and science as well as other areas.
- Iowa Core Curriculum:Â Provide an additional 1.5 FTE to help districts with their implementation of the Iowa Core Curriculum.
- Instructional Decision Making (IDM):Â Provide for materials and cost of additional staff time to provide for training of AEA and LEA teachers and staff in IDM.
- Schools in Need of Assistance (SINA):Â Provide resources to assist SINA schools in the timely completion of their school audit.
- English Language Learners:Â Provide an additional 1.0 FTE to provide consultant support to districts with growing and large ELL populations.
- Technology:Â Upgrade AEA 267 technology to better support technology integration and web-based and other learning delivery systems.
- Leadership Development:Â Provide internal staff development in critical areas so the AEA is less reliant on one person and would have potential back-up due to illness, retirement, etc. of key staff.
- Administrative Technology Leadership Development:Â Provide technology training to school leaders to help them better utilize instructional technologies in their building or district.
- Professional Development: Provide resources to offer additional professional development opportunities for AEA and LEA staff.
AEA/DE Collaborative Projects, including:
- Learning Supports:Â Commit .5 FTE for a Learning Supports Coordinator.
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS):Â Commit .5 FTE for a PBIS Coordinator.
- Challenging Behaviors:Â Commit 1.0 FTE for a Technical Assistant Consultant to address challenging behaviors.
- AEA 267 support for Iowa Department of Education (DE) Iowa Core Curriculum (ICC) efforts:Â Provide a prorated share of support for DE ICC efforts.
- Instructional Coaching Academy:Â A statewide professional development opportunity to train up to 80 trainers in instructional coaching strategies.
“These funds have very specific guidelines attached to them regarding how they may be spent,” said Dr. Dean Meier, chief administrator. “We believe we have made a direct match between the intent of the funds from the Federal government’s perspective and the most pressing needs of the children, families and educators that we serve. We are excited about the potential the funds create for increased student achievement.”
For a complete copy of the current draft of the plan, download it here.