Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) works in partnership with public and accredited non-public schools to provide educational services, programs and resources for improving the learning outcomes and well-being of all children and youth in central Iowa. Heartland AEA staff members serve children from birth to age 21, families, educators and communities.

Heartland AEA’s staff members, 75 percent of whom are licensed educators, aid student achievement in many ways. They provide direct services to students with special needs; consult with teachers about students’ academic and social-emotional learning; consult with principals and superintendents; provide professional learning courses for educators; lead school-community meetings; teach students in shelter and detention facilities and undertake many other tasks to improve teaching and learning.

Service Since 1975

Heartland AEA has the largest student enrollment of Iowa’s nine area education agencies. AEAs were created by the 1974 Iowa Legislature and opened a year later to ensure efficient, effective and equitable educational opportunities for all children.

The Agency is a public entity funded by federal and state aid, legislatively-controlled property tax, grants, course tuition and the sale of instructional materials. Most of Heartland AEA’s services are provided at no cost, although a nominal fee is charged for services such as printing, graphic design, lamination, some professional learning courses and special school district requests.

Fast Facts

Chief Administrator: Cindy Yelick, Ed.D.
Founded: 1975
Schools Served: 53 public school districts, 32 accredited non-public schools, 1 charter school
Students Served: 148,942 birth to age 21
Teachers & Administrators Served: 11,069
Counties: Audubon, Boone, Carroll, Dallas, Guthrie, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story and Warren
Area: 6,369 square miles
Main Office: Johnston
Regional Office Locations: Adel, Altoona, Ames, Ankeny, Carroll, Guthrie Center, Indianola, Knoxville and Newton
Shelter Care Educational Program Sites: Ellipsis (Des Moines), Polk County Juvenile Detention Center (Des Moines), Rosedale Shelter (Ames)
Number of Employees: 753