Republicans Continue to Ignore Pleas from Iowans, Move Forward with Unpopular AEA Reforms

Iowa Republicans are moving forward with dismantling Iowa AEAs while ignoring pleas from constituents to protect them. Iowa’s students who need extra assistance are the ones who will be hurt the most.

In passing this bill, Iowa Republicans blatantly disregarded the thousands of Iowans who signed a petition to stop AEA cuts, the hundreds of letters that have been sent to local newspapers, and even reputable polling on the bill which showed that the vast majority of Iowans want to protect AEAs — not dismantle them.

“I try my best to find the positive in every situation that we face — but it’s hard to find the positive in the long-range effects of this legislation to make cuts to Iowa’s AEAs. It’s no wonder that a majority of Iowans now think our state is headed in the wrong direction, and today serves as a reminder that we have to bring change to Iowa,” said IDP Chair Rita Hart. I’m determined to make sure that these Republican legislators who have blatantly ignored the voices of the Iowans they were elected to represent get a wake-up call on November 5th.”

To add salt to the wound, Iowa House Republicans used a “time certain” motion to place a time limit on debate on the AEA bill. Republicans use this tactic to silence the voices of those who may oppose their most extreme pieces of legislation.

Republican legislators had the gall to say they were passing the bill out of support for the betterment of Iowa public education. This is a farce. If Iowa Republicans were passing this legislation in good faith toward public schools, they would have focused on giving Iowa school districts the information they need to be able to budget for the coming school year instead of missing the deadline more than a week ago, leaving school districts flying blind.

Republicans left school districts in the dark on how much money they’ll have next year.

Republicans put guns in our schools just months after a tragic mass shooting in Perry.

Republicans led rural Iowa straight into a Republican-backed mental health crisis.

Now, they are dismantling the agency that schools rely on for special education.

The evidence from this year’s legislative session is more than clear: Iowa Republicans are not in the business of helping public schools. Iowa Democrats are. Iowa voters will remember that this coming November.