House Debates Education Reform - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

House Debates Education Reform

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Jessica Daley


Iowa lawmakers are burning the midnight oil. A four-plus hour debate took place Tuesday evening over a scaled-back version of Gov. Branstad's education reform plan.

The debate on the House floor included more than three dozen amendments.
This school reform bill has seven sections including creating a teacher leadership ladder that leads to more responsibility and more pay. Another section deals with how teachers and administrators are evaluated.

A republican amendment called for 2% allowable growth while a democratic amendment tried to increase that to 4%. The votes were in favor of 2% allowable growth for the next two fiscal years.

Another big ticket item was increasing the starting salary for teachers. Currently, it's $28,000.
Republicans were in favor of boosting it to $32,000 while Democrats were pushing for $35,000 saying that still doesn't compare to other Midwest states' starting wage.

"If in fact we are to attract the best and the brightest, the salary needs to reflect that," said Rep. Cindy Winkler, D-Davenport.
"I received many emails of concern from small rural districts saying you can't raise this up to $35,000 because we won't have very much money left over," said Rep. Ron Jorgensen, R-Sioux City.

The House had not voted on the bill as of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Look for updates here and on our newscasts Wednesday.

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