The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2007 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.
Gov. Chet Culver on May 9 signed legislation approved in the recently completed Iowa special session that would provide $75 million to boost teacher pay in the state, helping to move it closer to its goal of reaching the median national salary.
Last year, the state ranked 34th in the nation in teacher pay. Teachers, on average, have received about $5,000 in increased pay over the past two years.
The legislature also approved a bill, since signed by Gov. Culver, requiring schools to adopt the new Iowa Core Curriculum for all students in grades 9-12 by 2012 and grades K-8 by 2014.
The curriculum outlines literacy, mathematics, science, and other skills for students to master. The legislature provided $2.1 million to help implement the new curriculum.
And lawmakers approved a bill that would establish the Senior Year Plus Program aimed at helping high school students earn college credit. The program was financed at $1.9 million.
A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2008 edition of Education Week