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AEA Reform Is Again The Top Discussion During Last Weekend’s Legislative Forum

Area Education Agencies (AEA) Reform was again the top item of discussion during the legislative forum held this past weekend at New Hope. District Six Senator Jason Schultz and District Eleven Representative Brian Best discuss their work on the reform bill in front of a crowd of around 40 individuals, from concerned parents who use AEA services to teachers or those in the education profession who want answers on the next steps or the final components of the bill. Schultz says that this bill was to never defund or cut AEA services but rather make the organization less “bloated” at the top.

While no new updates were given about the status of the bill, Best said the House version of the bill would be the one to pass, according to Governor Kim Reynolds, which includes teachers’ pay and state supplemental aid.

Best also says each topic should have been addressed as their own bill, instead of being combined into one. He is concerned that if 15 new representatives come in next year, without the passing of this reform, he doesn’t know what to expect will be proposed then. Schultz stands behind the AEA reform for the policy, but not for fiscal reasons, as this bill is going to be large and expensive, creating recurring costs to districts throughout the years. The House’s current AEA reform bill is heading back to the Iowa Senate this week for discussion. The next and last legislative forum will be held on April 27 at the Glidden Public Library.

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