Iowa Teachers to Get Historic Pay Increase
The following offers highlights of the recent legislative session. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2006-07 school year data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
Teachers are slated to receive the largest pay boost in Iowa history, after lawmakers approved a $70 million increase during the 2007 legislative session, which concluded April 29.
The salary increase will bring the state closer to its goal of ranking 25th in teacher pay in the nation, said Brad Anderson, a spokesman for Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat who took office in January. This year, Iowa teacher pay ranked 43rd nationally, according to the governor’s office. The measure would increase average pay—currently $42,900 annually—by $5,000 over the next two school years.
“Many teachers and parents alike have waited patiently for a day when our state gives educators the pay raise they deserve,” Gov. Culver said in a statement. “I am proud to say that today they have to wait no longer.”
The legislature also approved an overall increase in school spending, bringing the total budget to $2.53 billion for K-12 education, up more than 8 percent from last year’s $2.34 billion. The state’s general-fund budget is $5.86 billion. Lawmakers also approved $1.5 million for the newly created All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship program, which provides grants to help low-income students attend college.
Vol. 26, Issue 36, Page 22