Meeting Public Comments

Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to area education agencies, including consolidating the area education agencies, modifying the teacher salary supplement state cost per pupil calculation, and modifying the employment terms of certain specified employees of area education agencies.(See HSB 727, HF 2580.)
Subcommittee members: Gobble-CH, Dolecheck, Mascher
Date: Monday, February 14, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Location: RM 304
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Dave Daughton [Rural School Advocates of Iowa]
Representatives,HF 2182 as currently written has as a main piece the consolidation of the AEAs. RSAI is strongly opposed to that portion of the bill. Rural schools depend upon a variety of services from their regional AEA, including multiple special education services, instructional assistance for teachers, and professional learning and development. Even as currently structured, the reality of the situation is that schools and districts located closest to the "hub" of the AEA region tend to access those services more consistently and regularly. An example would be Ottumwa and Seymour schools. The AEA service office is located in Ottumwa, and the schools there can attend PD courses by driving 10 minutes, while teachers in Seymour wanting to access the same course would drive for over an hour, one way. The same type of example could be used for student speech pathology services, and calculating the time it takes for a provider to get to those schools. Simply because of geography the level of service is, in reality, different. Reducing the number of AEAs to four would compound this problem to another degree. We would urge you to decline to move this bill forward, or to amend it to determine if there are ways to improve efficiencies, without consolidating. Thank you.Dave Daughton, Rural School Advocates of Iowa