Education Reform–Teacher Leadership & Compensation

November 19th, 2013

Much has been talked about and written regarding education reform in Iowa. One of the most significant elements of Governor Brandstad’s, and the Iowa Legislature’s efforts has centered around implementing a Teacher Leadership and Compensation System. The intended goals for this legislation are as follows:

• Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
• Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
• Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
• Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
• Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction.

Every school district in Iowa received a grant to develop a plan that meets the criteria established by the State, while at the same time, meeting the specific needs of the individual districts. There are five “Must-Haves” for all local plans. They are:

1) A minimum salary for all teachers of $33,500
2) For new teachers, additional coaching, mentoring, and opportunities for observing instructional practice
3) Differentiated, multiple, meaningful teacher leadership roles
4) A rigorous selection process for leadership roles
5) Aligned professional development.

We are blessed at MOC-Floyd Valley to have an outstanding team of educators who are committed to continuous improvement. In keeping with that commitment, we will be submitting a plan to the State prior to the January 31, 2014 deadline.

The State has earmarked $50 million per year that will be available for the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years for school districts to implement the teacher leadership and compensation system. The $50 million in funding is available for districts serving one-third of the students to enter the system each year. Districts will be notified in early March if their plans are approved for the 2014-15 school year.