In the spring of 1974, the Iowa Legislature passed House File 1163 establishing Iowa’s 15 area education agencies with the same service areas as the merged area schools (community colleges). The AEAs, as they came to be called, began operating on July 1, 1975. So if you do the math, that means the AEAs will be celebrating an important anniversary in 2015 – 40 years!
With the establishment of the area education agency system, Iowa became a national leader in providing regional, intermediate educational services. Our Iowa system continues to be among the most respected in the country. Though 44 other states have some kind of educational service agency, the scope of those agencies varies from state to state. None have the unique partnering relationship that Iowa’s AEAs have with local districts.
The AEAs are planning ways to observe this milestone year throughout 2015. If you have feedback or memories to share, don’t hesitate to contact Beth Strike.
One of the first fun ways we’ll celebrate is by doing a selfie social media campaign! We hope you will join us and encourage your co-workers to take part in the fun. Each service area director and office has two signs (ask to use them!), one saying “We are AEA” and the other “I am AEA.” Hold one of these signs as you take a selfie or a group photo in the office, in a meeting, in a school, on a home visit – wherever! Post your photo on Twitter and/or Facebook with the hashtag #iowaaea and email your photo to Beth Strike. (Please remember that signed consent forms are needed if you post any photo with a child.)
We hope this will be a fun activity to kick off our celebration. Be watching for other 40th anniversary ideas we’ll be sharing soon!