As you may be aware, a statewide taskforce has been meeting since August to review the present mission, structure, governance, and funding of the Area Education Agency system to ensure that our system’s current model is meeting the challenges and requirements of 21st century learning (House File 2295 & Senate File 2376). The taskforce was comprised of representatives from the Iowa Department of Education, Area Education Agencies, Iowa Association of School Boards, Iowa State Education Association, School Administrators of Iowa, local school districts, a parent or guardian of a child receiving special education services and the chairpersons and ranking members of the Senate and House standing committees on education. AEA 267’s Dr. Mary Stevens represented the Special Education Directors on the taskforce.
The final report, which will be reviewed by the legislature later this month, contains recommendations for enhancements to the AEA system in a variety of areas including:
- identifying core services for each AEA to deliver
- redesigning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the current system of delivery to eliminate the achievement gaps in Iowa
- providing specialized support teams
- implementing a statewide accountability system and steering committee.
A copy of the full report will be available on the agency’s website when it goes to the legislature later this month.