Mike Richards. (photo from BOR video)

The president of the Board of Regents addressed concerns this week about the proposal to move the governance of the state’s deaf, blind and visually impaired students to the Iowa Department of Education.

Mike Richards said that it is part of the effort to streamline government and bring all K through 12 students within one department.

“Our special schools already worked closely with the DOE and the AEA staff in their day-to-day work. This alignment makes sense, and will serve our deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired students well,” Richards says.

Richards says the Board of Regents wants what’s best for these students. “Everyone should know that existing programs and services will continue. There is no plan to cut services or plan to reduce employees,” he says. Richards says more information will be coming as the state government reorganization moves forward.

“This process is just getting started, and so changes are imminent,” Richards says. “It will take time to go through the legislative process and the board will work with the stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition as things move forward.”

Richards also said the search for a new superintendent for the special schools will be put on hold until the reorganization process is complete. He made his comments at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Radio Iowa