Ar-We-VA is a district located in Carroll and Crawford counties. It was one of the first districts in Iowa to reorganize. Its enrollment is approximately 413 students. All of Iowa is divided into area education agencies [AEAs] and every district is under contract to the AEA in whose boundaries the district lies. Ar-We-Va is located is the extreme southeast corner of AEA 12 and is unique in that it is contiguous to 3 other AEAs. Superintendent Griffith stated that AEA service centers and the quality of the highways to those centers were "key factors" in filing its request to change AEAs.
Acting Administrator Douma of Northwest AEA testified that his board focused on whether Northwest could adequately address the needs of the Ar-We-Va District and whethere there were any obstacles to cooperation between Northwest and any other AEA to meet the district's needs. Administrator Rand of Heartland AEA testified that because a critical mass of students is required for the efficient delivery of services by an AEA, the loss of Ar-We-Va from Northwest would be "significant" to the amount of services Northwest would be able to deliver to the remaining students in the AEA.
Superintendent Griffith summarized the crux of this matter as involving a choice between what is in the best interest of Ar-We-Va as opposed to what is in the best interest of Northwest. This would be valid only if the Legislature had built it into the statute.
The reasons articulated for the denial of Ar-We-Va's request were well-reasoned and based on rational thought. The District is not claiming that its needs have been unmet or inadequately met by its current AEA.
That the decisions of the Board of Directors of Northwest AEA and Heartland AEA both were affirmed.