Jamiesfeast – On Sunday, a lot of people came to North Liberty for a Johnson County lawmakers event. Educators, AEA workers, and members of the public were able to share their personal experiences and stories about how important AEAs are.
“I was faced with the challenge of raising a child with profound learning difficulties,” shared one speaker. “To my astonishment, this child, who was once deemed incapable of reading in the first grade, has surpassed all expectations.” This individual successfully completed their studies in the early ’90s.
A man who can take care of himself, lives on his own, and has a good social life. A man who adds to the country’s finances has been named. If not for AEA, that event would not have happened.
The Iowa Area Education Agencies are a group of nine areas across the state that work together as a cooperative. Their main job is to make it easier for school districts to get to a lot of different tools. There is professional development training, online learning material libraries, crisis and behaviorly trained teams, and special schools for students with disabilities that are committed to giving them a good education.
Reynolds said that the AEAs had gotten off track from their main goal of helping students with disabilities, so in the original plan, they would have had to focus only on those students.
After getting a lot of feedback from different groups, Governor Reynolds has made a big policy change by proposing an amendment. With this proposed change, the AEAs would be able to keep offering important special education programs like Child Find and Early ACCESS. Also, if the Iowa Department of Education agrees, they would be able to give media and general education services to schools.
The speaker, a parent of a 14-year-old, shared an insightful account about their child who was born with an unusually high amount of white matter in the right hemisphere of the brain. During their explanation, they emphasized the invaluable support offered by the AEA.
“It’s interesting how she has an exceptional verbal intelligence,” but there are other factors that are impeding her progress. The Clear Creek Amana school system’s special education department has received invaluable support from the AEA.
All six Democratic state senators and representatives from Johnson County attended the event. Although Senator Dawn Driscoll and Representatives Brad Sherman and Heather Hora, who are Republicans from Johnson County, were invited to attend, they declined the invitation. This decision drew criticism from some of the speakers.
According to Representative Adam Zabner, it is interesting to note that three individuals, who are both residents and supporters of the individuals being discussed, have chosen not to attend and listen to the message. The purpose of this decision, as stated by Representative Adam Zabner, is to directly hear the perspectives of constituents.
Representative Zabner acknowledged that there has been considerable discussion surrounding the bill, as people are curious about its contents and what it lacks. He emphasized the utmost importance of ensuring that Iowans receive the services they deserve.