Iowa is committed to ensuring that every student, regardless of their socioeconomic background, geographical location, or abilities, receives an education that adequately equips them for a successful life. The focus is on establishing a robust education system with high-quality options and teachers, empowering students to realize their full potential and prepare for higher education or a career.
Governor Reynolds’ Educational Priorities for 2024 Legislative Session
Teacher Salary Increase: Recognizing Iowa’s lower-than-average starting teacher salary, Governor Reynolds aims to elevate the state’s standing by implementing substantial increases. The goal is to propel Iowa into the top five states for average teacher salaries, attracting and retaining quality educators.
Invest $47.1 million in new funding to raise the statutory minimum teacher salary from $33,500 to $50,000.
Allocate $25.8 million to establish a statutory minimum teacher salary of $62,000 for educators with 12 years of experience.
Dedicate $23.1 million to create Teacher Salary Supplement (TSS) tiers, ensuring equitable funding across school districts based on size and compliance with minimum salary requirements.
Allocate $10 million in ARPA funding to establish the Merit Teacher Incentive Fund, encouraging and rewarding teachers for student improvement.
Literacy Improvement: Acknowledging the crucial role of reading in foundational learning, the state aims to address the issue of 35% of Iowa’s third graders lacking proficient reading skills. By investing in evidence-based reading instruction, the goal is to enhance teacher effectiveness, improve literacy levels, and create more opportunities for students.
Invest $9.2 million to provide instructional training in the science of reading for 5,500 teachers and 1,100 school administrators, starting from November 2023.
Hold Iowa colleges and universities accountable for training education students in the science of reading, requiring specific licensure candidates to pass the Foundations of Reading assessment for graduation.
Allocate $3.1 million to cover the cost of the Foundations of Reading assessment for current teachers, mandated to pass it within three years.
Mandate the development of personalized reading plans for students not proficient in reading from third grade to sixth grade, with school districts required to notify parents about the option to retain students who fall behind.
Public Charter Schools: Recognizing the diversity of educational needs, charter schools offer tuition-free alternatives, focusing on various educational experiences tailored to help students thrive. Governor Reynolds supports the expansion of high-quality public charter schools to enhance educational freedom for families and better prepare students for their future.
In summary, Iowa’s commitment to elevating education involves addressing teacher salaries, enhancing literacy programs, and promoting the expansion of public charter schools. These initiatives aim to create a more inclusive and effective education system, ensuring that every student receives the support they need for a prosperous future.