Letters to the Editor – Feb. 8, 2024


Support the AEAs
To the Editor:
I urge everyone to contact their Iowa legislators and the governor to communicate support for our state’s AEAs (Area Education Agencies). Until now, I knew that this agency did great work for children with special needs but I was not aware of the many other functions it performs. Many other duties include staff development, suppling movies and books to schools as needed, providing websites that have been researched and vetted for teachers, crisis intervention, and cybersecurity. The AEA provides these services to public and to private schools as well.

Governor Reynolds says she wants to overhaul the AEA system because it is underperforming. I contend if it is really underperforming, it is because it is underfunded — much like the rest of our educational systems in Iowa. She also claims that the administrators of our 9 regional AEAs are overpaid. These administrators are highly educated and trained individuals who now do more work for a much wider area. Under her proposed plan, the 9 administrators would be mandated to resign by a certain date. This would send a message to educators, social workers, educators, administrators and other professionals. Iowa is already at an educator-to-student deficit.

If the governor believes that the administrators are overpaid, then address that issue, but do not get rid of the well-working framework of our AEAs. One does not need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Please contact your legislators and the governor today to support the AEA at (http://tinyurl.com/yckbu8vz). It is important to do this before the Feb. 16 legislation funnel deadline.
Mary Maher

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