March 7, 2017
Federal Advocacy Toolkit: Medicaid and Schools 
Right now in Congress, proposals are being advanced that could dramatically affect Medicaid, including possible funding reductions and changes in how funds would be distributed to local school districts. We anticipate decisions will be made quickly. 

Approximately 50% of all Medicaid recipients are children, according to the recent white paper,  Cutting Medicaid: A Prescription to Hurt the Neediest Kids , produced by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

In response, thanks to staff and volunteers, AESA has put together the Federal Advocacy Toolkit: Medicaid and Schools. The resources include sample letters and resources for you to customize for your state and federal elected officials.

Please let your voice be heard! This important decision will affect our agencies and school districts, but most importantly - our students!
Resource: Coalition for Grieving Students

The Coalition to Support Grieving Students has come together to remedy a current gap in the educational professions: the development of a set of resources broadly approved by leading professional organizations to guide educators and other school personnel in supporting and caring for their grieving students. AESA is proud to join this coalition. 

The primary resource - - provides practical, accessible information for classroom educators, principals, administrators, and student support personnel and other school professionals who have come together with a common conviction.

AESA Says Good-bye to one of its Founders
Elias R. "Bob" Stephens, Jr. (seated center) is shown here with the Iowa AEA Chief Administrators. They recognized Bob for his 50+ years of service to ESAs.

Elias R. "Bob" Stephens, Jr.
March 16, 1929 - February 08, 2017

Elias R. "Bob" Stephens, Jr. 87, of North Liberty, Iowa passed away on February 8, 2017.  He was very involved in supporting the mission of the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA).

Bob was born on March 16, 1929 in Sioux City, Iowa, the sixth child of Elias and Josephine Stephens. He was a 1947 graduate of Central High School in Sioux City. He earned an undergraduate degree from Morningside College, a Master's Degree from Drake University and a PhD from the University of Iowa. Bob served on the faculty of the College of Education at the University of Iowa from1966-1971. He then served as a Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Planning at the University of Maryland from1971-1994. His primary research and development work focused on the areas of educational service agencies and rural education. Although he retired as an Emeritus Professor from the University of Maryland in 1994, his research and writing continued.  Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Donna, his parents and five siblings. Survivors include his two children, Douglas Stephens of Chicago, IL and Jane (David) Collins of Dunlap, IL; two grandchildren, Erica (Andrew) Cushing of Peoria, IL and John Collins of Redlands, CA. As requested by Bob, no services are planned. 

To leave a message of comfort and support for his family, please visit

At the request of Bob's family, donations in his memory may be made to:
AESA Foundation, 4031 FM 1463 Road, Suite 40-282, Katy, TX 77494.

(Did you know that AESA has an established award in Bob's honor? 
It is called the E. Robert Stephens Award.)

Annual Conference: Call for Proposals Now Open
AESA is currently seeking presentation proposals for its Annual Conference. 
This year's conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas.
Robust, relevant presentations and break-out sessions are the key ingredients to a successful conference. Please consider how you can showcase the work of your ESA at AESA's national conference.  These presentations will be scheduled Thursday-Saturday morning, November 30-December 2, 2017.

Feel free to share this application with ESA colleagues, too. Applications are open to AESA members, and are due May 1, 2017. 

NEW! AESA Affinity Group - Blended/Personalized Learning
This Affinity Group will explore the changing instructional landscape as it moves from a traditional teacher-led model toward various student-centered models of blended and personalized learning. Participants will share ideas and approaches about how ESA's can support this changing landscape, particularly around ESA services that support schools and promote the shift of instructional practice around these 21st century pedagogies.

The Affinity Group is open to any employee of any member-ESA interested in sharing resources, new learning and successes around this topic. Interested AESA members can join this Affinity Group by contacting Sally Lindgren.  The group will meet quarterly beginning March 2017.  

Dates:   March 15, 2017;  June 14, 2017; September 13, 2017;  December 13, 2017

Be sure to check the AESA Website the latest updates about 
 Affinity Groups.