About Iowa’s AEAs

Visit the Iowa AEA website to learn more.

What is an AEA?

Area Education Agencies work as educational partners with public and accredited, nonpublic schools to help students, school staff, parents, and communities.

AEAs provide special education support services, media, and technology services, a variety of instructional services, professional development, and leadership to promote school improvement.

Iowa's AEAs are widely regarded as one of the foremost regional service systems in the country, offering programs that can be provided most equitably, efficiently, and economically on a regional or cooperative basis among school districts. Programs and services fall under nine state standards on which AEAs are accredited.

School-Community Planning

This area calls for AEAs to assist schools in determining student needs, developing collaborative community relationships, establishing shared direction and implementing actions to meet goals, and reporting progress toward goals.

Professional Development

AEAs anticipate and respond to school and AEA staff needs for professional development. Programs and services support proven educational practices; align with school goals; incorporate adult learning theory; and support improved teaching.

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Services address, at a minimum, reading, language arts, mathematics, and science. They include support in establishing standards, collecting and analyzing student achievement and learning climate data, and using this information to improve student learning.

Diverse Learning Needs

AEAs meet diverse learning needs through support services with disabilities who required special education and those who are gifted and talented. Services comply with Iowa rules for special education.

Media Services

Media services support instruction and school needs. They include consultation, research and information services, instructional resources, and materials to meet student learning needs. AEAs also support local school media services.

School Technology

AEAs provide schools with technology planning, technical assistance, and professional development. Services also support technologies to improve student achievement.

Multicultural, Gender-Fair

Services assist schools in taking actions that ensure all students are free from discrimination; incorporate instructional strategies and student activities related to responsibilities, rights, and respect for diversity; and provide professional development to prepare school employees to work with diverse learners.


Leadership services are based on the Iowa Standards for School Administrators and school needs. Services assist with recruitment, induction, retention, and professional development of educational leaders.

Management Services

Services are provided upon request and may be provided on a fee-for-service basis and through cooperative agreements amongst AEAs.