Entry level pay for Iowa teachers to increase under proposed edu - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Entry level pay for Iowa teachers to increase under proposed education plan

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Teachers in Iowa could soon be getting a raise.

Governor Terry Brands tad is proposing a new education plan that would increase teacher salaries and offer tuition assistance to some education students.

Minimum pay for entry level teachers in Iowa would rise from $28,000 to 35,000 annually.

Keokuk Middle School seventh grade science teacher Arie Schiller said she thinks the proposed education plan from Branstad would help attract more college students into teaching.

"Some people that might think oh teaching could be a career for them and if they have that extra incentive that the pay will increase," said Schiller.

The proposed plan also would include tuition assistance for some aspiring teachers, and Schiller said lessening the college debt load would also help get more qualified teachers in Iowa classrooms.

"There's a lot more opportunities for grants and teachers to get the chance to help with forgiving their loans of getting part of their loans forgiven so they don't have that huge carrying loan especially with the salary for starting teachers," said Schiller.

Keokuk Superintendent Tim Hood said he would welcome the changes, but still has some questions about how the state will figure the salary increases for his teachers because the base pay for Keokuk teachers is already $36,000 per year.

"I don't want to sit here and say this is going to be a great increase for our teaching staff because I am not sure how the state is going to figure what our base salary is," said Hood.

Hood said his other fear about the proposed changes is that it would take away from other funds the school needs, and he hopes those funds are a part of Branstad's proposed budget as well.

"We've been in a cutting mode for a long time so it would allow us to not have to go through some of the reductions the district has gone through in the past," said Hood.

Branstad said the plan would cost $187 million over the next five years, and it would be paid for through the state budget surplus.

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