Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Education -- Iowa -- History; School management and organization -- Iowa -- History; Special education -- Iowa -- History;


Iowa has developed a unique regional intermediate education system known as Area Education Agencies (AEAs). The AEAs provide local school districts with special education programs and services, media services, and other education services. The AEAs have existed since July 1, 1975 after the passage of Senate File 1163 in 1974. The AEAs were not the first intermediate educational units in Iowa. In 1858 the state legislature created the office of the county superintendent to serve as intermediate link between the local schools and the office of the state superintendent. From the first decade of the 20th century, the role of the county superintendent gradually evolved. Legislative enactments gradually changed the role of the county superintendent. This thesis traces the historical developments of the intermediate educational unit in Iowa. It synthesizes pertinent historical events and legislative enactments which have had an impact on the intermediate unit. Iowa's intermediate unit has gradually evolved to a position of influence for education. At the present time, 15 Area Education Agencies provide many needed services to local schools and their students. In 1986 and 1987 the Iowa General Assembly mandated that the State Board of Education develop plans for restructuring Iowa's educational system. This mandate may have major repercussions for the AEA system. This thesis serves as a condensed review for those seeking general background for making changes in the present system. It identifies some controversial issues of the past to.consider for making future changes.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Barry J. Wilson

Second Advisor

Edward Rutkowski

Third Advisor

Lee Courtnage


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (77 leaves)



File Format


Included in

Education Commons