Iowa Senate passes AEA reform bill

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Iowa Senate passes AEA reform bill

WITH BREAKING NEWS. IOWA’S NINE AREA EDUCATION AGENCIES, WHICH OVERSEES SERVICES TO ALL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, IS ADVANCING IN THE IOWA SENATE, CHIEF POLITICAL REPORTER AMANDA ROOKER IS LIVE AT THE STATE HOUSE, WHERE THIS BILL PASSED JUST MINUTES AGO. AMANDA. STACY. THIS BILL COULD CREATE MAJOR CHANGES TO THOSE AREA EDUCATION AGENCIES IN THE BILL PASSING COMES AFTER HOURS OF FIERY AND EMOTIONAL DEBATE HERE IN THE IOWA SENATE. THAT BILL DID PASS IN A 28 TO 22 VOTE, WHICH IS CLOSER THAN A LOT OF VOTES THAT WE HAVE SEEN HERE AT THE IOWA STATE HOUSE IN RECENT YEARS. TODAY, SIX REPUBLICANS JOINED ALL DEMOCRATS IN OPPOSING THIS BILL. ALL OTHER SENATE REPUBLICANS SUPPORTED IT. SO WHAT’S IN THIS BILL? BY THE FALL OF 2025, SCHOOL DISTRICTS WOULD RECEIVE 90% OF SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING, INSTEAD OF THAT MONEY GOING DIRECTLY TO AREAS AND SCHOOLS WOULD ALSO GET FULL CONTROL OF MEDIA SERVICES AND GENERAL EDUCATION FUNDING. RIGHT NOW, THAT MONEY GOES TOWARDS THINGS LIKE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT, LIBRARIES, TEXTBOOKS AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT. THE BILL WOULD ALSO SHIFT SIGNIFICANT OVERSIGHT AND AUTHORITY TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. SENATE REPUBLICANS SAY THE BILL REFORMS A 50 YEAR OLD SYSTEM THAT’S FAILING IOWA STUDENTS AND NEEDS MORE IMPROVEMENTS IN ACCOUNTABILITY. BUT SENATE DEMOCRATS SAY IT WILL LIKELY DRAW FUNDING AWAY FROM EA’S, LOWERING THE QUALITY OF SERVICES THAT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES DEPEND ON. SOME SHARING PERSONAL STORIES. AND AS A MOTHER OF A CHILD WITH A DISABILITY, I HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE A HEART HURT. WHAT YOU ARE DOING TODAY IS CREATING MORE INSTABILITY, MORE UNCERTAINTY, AND THIS SYSTEM WILL COLLAPSE. FAMILIES WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER WHO STOOD UP FOR THEIR CHILDREN. THIS BILL IS ABOUT ENSURING THAT OUR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES RECEIVE THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICES IN EDUCATION. IN. THE GOAL IS TO GET THE BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR THE MOST EFFICIENT DELIVERY OF SPECIAL ED SERVICES TO KIDS WHO NEED THEM. SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? WELL, THE SENATE AMENDED THE HOUSE PROPOSAL, BUT THEY CHANGED IT SIGNIFICANTLY, PUTTING IN MOST OF THEIR OWN PLANS THAT MEANS THIS BILL NOW HAS TO GO BACK TO THE HOUSE FOR SUPPORT AND A VOTE THERE. HOWEVER, THE HOUSE’S VERSION OF THIS PLAN WOULD NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SYSTEM, SO THERE LIKELY WILL NEED TO BE SIGNIFICANT NEGOTIATION AND COMPROMISE MADE IF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE CAN COME AND FIND COMMON GROUND TO GET ANY REFORM TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK THIS YEAR. LIVE FROM THE STATEHOUSE AMANDA ROOK

Iowa Senate passes AEA reform bill

Major changes to Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies, which oversee services to all students with disabilities, are advancing in the Iowa Senate.The Senate spent hours Monday in fiery and emotional debate before the bill passed in a 28-22 vote. Six Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing it — all other Senate Republicans voted yes.Under this proposal, by the fall of 2025, school districts would receive 90% of special education funding instead of that money going directly to AEAs. They would also get full control of media services and general education funding, which right now go toward things like mental health support, libraries, textbooks and curriculum development. The bill would also shift significant oversight and authority to the director of the Department of Education.The bill still needs approval from the Iowa House in order to become law. However, House Republicans’ plan would not make any changes to special education, and the two chambers would have to come to an agreement before the legislation made its way to the governor’s desk.» Download the free KCCI app to get updates on the go: Apple | Google PlayGet the latest headlines from KCCI

Major changes to Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies, which oversee services to all students with disabilities, are advancing in the Iowa Senate.

The Senate spent hours Monday in fiery and emotional debate before the bill passed in a 28-22 vote. Six Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing it — all other Senate Republicans voted yes.

Under this proposal, by the fall of 2025, school districts would receive 90% of special education funding instead of that money going directly to AEAs. They would also get full control of media services and general education funding, which right now go toward things like mental health support, libraries, textbooks and curriculum development.

The bill would also shift significant oversight and authority to the director of the Department of Education.

The bill still needs approval from the Iowa House in order to become law. However, House Republicans’ plan would not make any changes to special education, and the two chambers would have to come to an agreement before the legislation made its way to the governor’s desk.

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