Governor Opposes Any Changes In New AEA Law

Des Moines, Iowa — Governor Reynolds says she will not consider any changes in the law she signed two weeks ago that overhauls Area Education Agencies.

The new plan takes effect in the 2025-26 school year. AEAs will get 90 percent of the state funding they use now to provide specialized services, like speech therapy, to students with disabilities. The Des Moines Register was first to report that some House lawmakers were hoping to adjust a different part of the plan. The new law will let school districts spend 68 MILLION dollars however they wish rather than on general education and media services which have been provided by AEAs. Reynolds says schools can spend that money on AEA services — or on anything else.

Some school administrators have said they plan to use that chunk of new money on teacher salaries and other expenses. AEA officials have said they’re having staffing issues as employees resign due to uncertainty about the system’s future. Reynolds says the AEAs were top-heavy and are being right-sized by the plan.

The AEA changes were the governor’s top priority for the 2024 legislative session.