Educators optimistic regarding Branstad's reform - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Educators optimistic regarding Branstad's reform

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Recent University of Iowa graduate Joey Ackerman has known for some time he has wanted to teach.

"Education's in the family and I just decided you know what, this is something I really want to do," he said.

Ackerman got into the field in hopes of positively impacting young people's lives.  Still, he says he has concerns about the pay that comes along with the job.

"With education, it's always that, we're not paid enough and often times we're kind of over-looked with that," Ackerman said.

Governor Branstad's education reform puts teachers as its centerpiece.  The Governor laid out his plan Tuesday as part of his condition of the state address.

Of the $187 million proposal, $160 million of which will support  the new teacher compensation model.

"You can't have any worthwhile improvements in education without really dealing with the teacher,"  said Nick Colangelo, the interim dean of the University of Iowa College of Education.

Under the plan, entry level teachers will see a 25 percent increase in base pay and future Iowa teachers, especially those in hard to hire subjects like science and math, could receive financial help as well.

Colangelo believes the incentives will pique interest.

"If the pay increases, I think one of the effects is going to be we are going to have an up tick in the number of people applying," Colangelo said.

The plan also looks to retain Iowa's high quality teachers by offering different career paths, some of which encourage teachers to learn from one another.

"To have a lead teacher or a  teacher that is an expert so to speak right alongside coaching a teacher while it's going on is great," said Michael Reeves, Lone Tree Schools superintendent

All efforts to bring in more high quality candidates like Ackerman.

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