Changes are coming to Iowa Education Systems - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Changes are coming to Iowa Education Systems

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Summer vacation is just under way, but thoughts are already on the big changes coming to Iowa schools starting in the fall.

Governor Terry Branstad signed his Education Reform Bill into law Monday morning at Des Moines North High School.

Monday was the last day of school for kids at Waverly-Shell Rock. But with the signing of Governor Branstad's education reform bill, administrators and teachers are already thinking about next year and what changes are on deck.

Waverly-Shell Rock High School teacher Keith Halverson has been in the education profession for a while.

"I just wrapped up my 18th year," said Halverson.

That experience may lead to him being a mentor for younger teachers.

"I like watching other teachers. See what they do. I like learning from them. I like seeing what they're good at and taking what they do and put it back in my classroom,"said Halverson.

But, if WSR, or any other district opts out, they don't receive that funding and teachers like Halverson don't get to help his younger colleagues.

Another major component of the legislation is better teacher evaluations and more reliable student assessments.

"The ones that we've had in the past really have not been adequate and I think that we're going to do a much better job because we can't teach kids if we don't have really good sense about where they're at," said Jere Vyverberg, Superintendent.

The bill also addresses the hot topic from the legislative session, allowable growth.

The new law replaces allowable growth with one hundred percent state aid. Vyverberg isn't optimistic that funding model will be any better for school districts.

"We'll see. I always worry about will the funds be there. How much is actually going to be funded," said Vyverberg.

Governor Branstad reminded those in attendance that the changes won't come quickly or easily.

Next year is the planning stage. After that, the changes will be implemented over the next three years.

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