Home Local News IOWA SENATE PASSES THEIR VERSION OF AEA BILL (Update)

IOWA SENATE PASSES THEIR VERSION OF AEA BILL (Update)

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THE IOWA SENATE HAS VOTED TO GIVE SCHOOL OFFICIALS THE OPTION OF BYPASSING AREA EDUCATION AGENCIES AND PROVIDING SERVICES TO STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES BY HIRING PRIVATE CONTRACTORS OR DISTRICT STAFF.

SENATOR LYNN EVANS OF AURELIA, A RETIRED SUPERINTENDENT, IS AMONG THE 28 REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE WHO VOTED FOR THE BILL.

AEAVOTE1 OC……SCHOOL BOARD’S TABLE?” :12

IOWA IS THE ONLY STATE WHERE STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES, LIKE SPEECH THERAPY, ARE SENT DIRECTLY TO AREA EDUCATION AGENCIES.

EVANS SAYS SCHOOLS HAVE NEVER SEEN A BILL OF SALE FOR WHAT THEY’RE GETTING FROM THE A-E-AS.

AEAVOTE2 OC…….WHO NEED THEM.” :06

GOVERNOR REYNOLDS HAS CALLED FOR SIMILAR CHANGES.

EVANS SAYS PUTTING THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN CHARGE AND GIVING SCHOOLS CONTROL OVER 90 PERCENT OF THE STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS SET ASIDE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION WILL FORCE A-E-AS TO SHOW HOW MUCH EACH SERVICE COSTS.

AEAVOTE3 OC……FOR MANY YEARS.” :12

SIX REPUBLICANS, INCLUDING JEFF TAYLOR OF SIOUX COUNTY, JOINED ALL THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE IN OPPOSING THE BILL.

SENATOR JANET PETERSEN, A DEMOCRAT FROM DES MOINES, SAYS REPUBLICANS WHO BACKED THE BILL ARE FOLLOWING THE GOVERNOR OVER A CLIFF:

AEAVOTE4 OC……PRIZED EDUCATION SYSTEM.” :12

HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASSED THEIR OWN PLAN AT THE END OF FEBRUARY CALLING FOR A STUDY OF THE A-E-A SYSTEM AND MAINTAINING A-E-A SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE OF YEARS.

GOVERNOR REYNOLDS HAS PLEDGED TO WORK WITH G-O-P LEADERS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO FIND A COMPROMISE PLAN.

Updated 10:42 a.m. 3/19/24 from Radio Iowa

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THE IOWA SENATE PASSED THEIR VERSION OF AREA EDUCATION AGENCY REFORM MONDAY, SETTING UP A CONFLICT WITH THE IOWA HOUSE, WHICH HAD EARLIER PASSED THEIR OWN VERSION.

GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS RELEASED A STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE IOWA SENATE’S ACTION SAYING
“I WANT TO THANK THE SENATE FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO IMPROVING SPECIAL EDUCATION AND ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE AEA SYSTEM NEEDS REFORM.

I NOW LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO REACH A COMPROMISE THAT WILL BRING TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND CONSISTENCY TO THE AEA SYSTEM.

REYNOLDS SAYS AT THE SAME TIME WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM BY INCREASING MINIMUM SALARIES FOR BOTH STARTING AND EXPERIENCED TEACHERS.”

THE HOUSE HAS ALSO PASSED AN INCREASE IN TEACHER PAY TO AT LEAST $50,000 A YEAR WITHIN TWO YEARS, SOMETHING THE SENATE HAS NOT ACTED ON YET.