The end of AEA 267, and the mystery of AEA 8

Thirteen months after I put Area Education Agency 267 on my “worst names in Iowa” list, something has been done about it. As of July 1, the agency — made up of the former AEAs based in Clear Lake (2), Marshalltown (6), and Cedar Falls (7) — is known as Central Rivers AEA.

The Toledo Chronicle story announcing the change also notes the AEA’s main headquarters moved to Pipac Center on Hudson Road in Cedar Falls this month. Sadly, earlier in the year, there were 10 layoffs on the media and secretarial side.

The name change means a public end to the original numbering of Area Education Agencies throughout Iowa. The state started out with 15, and each AEA had a community college; the original AEA boundaries can be seen in this community college map. After mergers in the 21st century, we’re down to nine. Some have kept their numbers in internal documents, but all have public-facing name changes.

For reasons unknown, there was no Area Education Agency 8! As far back as the 1967-68 Iowa Official Register (PDF, p. 257-259), the first one printed after initial organization of “Area Community Colleges and Area Vocational Schools”, “Area VIII” simply isn’t there. Decades later, when AEA 3 and AEA 5 merged, they became AEA 8, but that number doesn’t appear to be in the original system at all.

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