Dear Indianola CSD Community,

I am writing to address the potential impact of Governor Reynolds’ proposed House Study Bill 542 (HSB 542) on Area Education Agencies (AEAs) and our schools. This legislation has the potential to significantly affect our staff, students, and families.

I strongly urge Governor Reynolds to slow down the legislative process, allowing for a thorough review of HSB 542’s implications on our education system.

AEAs play a crucial role in supporting local public school districts. Established in 1974 with a primary focus on special education support, their mission has evolved over the years to include essential services such as vast media libraries, professional learning for educators, and the collective purchasing power of a large consortium. The proposed bill calls for the elimination of these services which would have a negative impact on our school district as well as other school districts in Iowa.

The accelerated nature of this 123-page bill prevents a comprehensive understanding of its consequences. It is crucial that we take a long hard look at HSB 542, ensuring that lawmakers, educators, families, and community members understand its proposed changes and can develop plans to soften potential losses in service.

Recognizing the need for periodic reviews, I advocate for caution in changes that may disproportionately impact not only smaller school districts across the state, lacking the resources to address the void left by HSB 542 in its current form but also larger districts like Indianola CSD. Despite our size, our students could also face serious challenges if this legislation is passed.

I encourage each member of our community to engage in this conversation, ask questions, and share opinions on this important issue. Contacting legislators and expressing concerns is vital to ensuring that any changes made are well-informed and in the best interest of schools in our community and statewide.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Together, we can work toward a solid understanding of the proposed changes and advocate for the best-possible outcomes for our students, educators, and families.


Ted Ihns

ICSD Superintendent