Condition of the State: Branstad calls for tax and education reform
Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DES MOINES (KWWL) -
On Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad wrapped up his 18th Condition of the State address by calling for tax and education reform.
As for job creation and economic development in Iowa, Branstad said he would put Iowa against any other state.
The governor also said he wants to reduce taxes on all property, saying smaller businesses have suffered some of the highest taxes in the nation for far too long.
As for education, Branstad proposes three ideas to improve education. His first was a new teacher compensation model which would cost the state $160 million.
"Let me ask you this very hard question: When did we decide that middle of the pack was good enough when it came to Iowa's children's education?" Branstad asked. "Did we really make that decision, or did we simply let it happen through inaction?"
His second was to increase new teacher salaries from $28,000 to $35,000.
His third idea, which would start next year, would require students to take a college-ready "seal," or exam.
"Beginning next year, students will have the option at the state's expense of taking college entrance or workforce readiness tests," Branstad said. "Our program will make it clear what it means to be college- or career-ready, based on real-world expectations from Iowa business and education leaders."
Other goals Governor Branstad wants to accomplish include better health and well-being for everyone in the state of Iowa. He says he still hopes Iowa can be the healthiest state.
Branstad was also pleased with the balanced budget, noting that accomplishing that was a shining example of good work done together.
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