Reynolds’ Proposal Forces AEA to Slash Budget by Millions, Lay Off Employees 

“I just can’t see with all those cuts [that] there will be no reduction in our staffing.”

Green Hills AEA (GHAEA) announced that Governor Reynolds’ anti-AEA legislation has forced them to cut $3 million from their budget by July 1, and an additional $6.5 million by the following year. 

In an interview with KMA Land, Dr. Jason Plourde, Chief Administrator at GHAEA, also said that the AEA will need to cut 15-25 employees by July 1st in addition to the 20 resignations that the AEA has received since February. These cuts follow the $2 million in cuts GHAEA was forced to make last year, and the $5 million cut the year prior.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we’ve had years of cuts over and over again,” said Dr. Jason Plourde, Chief Administrator at Green Hills AEA. “Last year, we had $2 million worth of cuts, last year, $5 million. What this equates to, really, as we think ahead is just for the 10% – which doesn’t sound like a lot – that’s another $3.7 million in cuts toward the AEA. That coupled with the educational service, and immediate media cuts of $60% before July 1st of this year, it’s not insurmountable, but it certainly is formidable.”

Thanks to this legislation – disapproved by the majority of Iowans –, public schools’ special education services, media services, crisis response services, and more are at risk of collapse. In addition, thanks to the Republican legislation, employees of Iowa AEAs who have spent years – some decades – caring for Iowa children’s education are at risk of losing their jobs.

“One of the things that’s happened as a result of this legislation, we’ve had at least 20 resignations since February…Others are leaving the state, and some are leaving education. But we’re looking at a window of 15-25 folks that we’ll have to reduce by July 1st–which is a substantial number,” said Plourde.

“Governor Reynolds and her Republican colleagues have forced through a piece of legislation that sets Iowa schools back years – and Iowa kids are who will face the consequences of Republicans’ actions. I’m heartbroken for the Iowa students and Iowa AEA employees who will be affected by this,” said IDP Chair Rita Hart. “I know how many Iowans spoke out in force against this bill, and I want to assure those who are watching this play out: if you elect Democrats this fall, Democrats will work to protect Iowa’s public schools in everything we do.”