Branstad wants education overhaul - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Branstad wants education overhaul

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ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) -

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds want an overhaul of Iowa's education system. Back in October, they announced a blueprint to do just that and now they're traveling around the state pitching the plan and gathering input.

Tuesday, speaking in Estherville, Iowa, the governor said he wants Iowa's education system to be number one in the nation, an achievement he says we haven't held since the '90's.

Branstad and Reynolds' plan calls for higher standards for students, more technology in the classroom and better qualified faculty, focusing heavily on teachers.

Specifically, the blueprint calls for a 3.0 grade point average for any student entering into teacher-preparation programs. Plus, for those who already have a job, it would evaluate them through annual assessments and peer reviews.

The blueprint also lays out a new way to pay teachers, dividing them into four salary groups; Apprentice, Career, Mentor and Master.

Apprentice, would start the salary ladder with a new increased minimum of $40,000 a year, compared to the current $28,000. Educators could then progress upwards by showing their teaching effectiveness.

But can the state afford it? The Des Moines Register reports it would cost between $100 million to $200 million to implement the wage increase. So, Branstad has taken it out of the blueprint for the 2012 legislative session.

"We're going to study that for another year. But we are moving forward with the other parts of this very comprehensive blueprint for systemic change in education," said Branstad.

"We know that it will take a decade to really get the results that we want with the blueprint, but we need to start now," said Reynolds.

Branstad says he'll create a task force to study the salary increase. He expects to introduce it in the 2013 session.

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