A new Area Education Agency came into existence on July 1 as AEA 12 (Western Hills) and AEA 4 merged to become the Northwest AEA.
AEAs in the state provide support for school districts in the areas of special education, staff development and media services.
The new AEA is geographically large, consisting of 36 school districts, with the corners of the roughly rectangular AEA consisting of West Monona, West Lyon, Sibley-Ocheyedon and Ar-We-Va.
There are satellite offices, including one in Cherokee, to make direct contact easier. Service is expected to be unchanged from what it has been in the past.
Although there has been encouragement from the state to consolidate AEAs for the sake of efficiency, the decision for AEA 12 and AEA 4 to join was made within those AEAs rather than a state mandate.
While consolidation of agencies is not always beneficial for those depending on services from the agencies, this consolidation would seem to be fairly painless for the school districts affected.
It will be good to have the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn District, formerly of AEA 4, in the same AEA as the other districts in Cherokee County. It is also good to have all the school district in our sports coverage area, which includes South O'Brien as well as MMC, included in the same AEA.
We wish the staff and clients of the Northwestern AEA the best of luck.