Iowa City schools to hire 55 teachers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City schools to hire 55 teachers

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) is looking to hire 55 teachers.

The move comes after the school board voted to adopt a budget Tuesday night that includes a funding increase of more than five percent from last year.

Wednesday, classes proceeded as normal at City High School in Iowa City with a lively discussion in Mr. Hartwig's advanced placement English literature and composition class.

The good news is there will now be more support for classes like his within the Iowa City school district.

 "We feel comfortable that we can financially support the 55 positions," said Jim Pedersen, executive director of human resources with the ICCSD.

The district will fill 38 teaching positions left vacant due to early retirement and hire an additional 17 to address a 450 student surge in enrollment.

It's progress from the three years before when the district wasn't in the financial position to fill vacancies of staff that left.

"I think we're feeling stable, but we've been fortunate enough that my ten years here we've always had steady growth," Pedersen said.

The Iowa City district is unique in that it is a rapidly growing district within a rapidly growing community.

Coy Marquardt represents 34 districts with the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) and says for districts that are not experiencing the growth Iowa City has, challenges lie ahead, but the financial situation isn't getting any worse.

"Things have stabilized for school budgets I think over the past year or two.  I do think there's still some uncertainty out there as well.," said Marquardt, director of the East Central UniServ Unit with the ISEA.

The uncertainty exists as districts await to see how much state aid they'll receive from lawmakers in the 2013-2014 school year.

Lawmakers in the Iowa House and Senate are still in negotiations.

In the current school year districts were given zero allowable growth from the state for the first time in the state's history.

Next year is slated for two percent in allowable growth.

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