The state teachers’ union says a shortage of administrators isn’t the onlyproblem facing Iowa schools. Iowa State Education Association PresidentJolene Franken says 40-percent of Iowa teachers will be eligible forretirement by 2003. And 25-percent of beginning teachers leave theprofession after just two years. Franken says the state has addressed theissue by lowering certification standards, but she says parents won’t acceptthat anymore.Franken made her comments after testifying before the legislative interimcommittee on school finance. Franken says Iowa is losing too many teachersto other states that pay more. She wants the legislature to boost beginningteacher pay and invest more in teachers who attain national certification.The Iowa Legislature cut the amount paid to teachers gaining that specialnational certification. Franken says it caused the number of teachersseeking the certification to drop. Republican Representative CecilDolecheck of Mount Ayr is on the education committee and he says legislatorsknow they must eventually raise teacher salaries.However, Dolecheck is worried about what raising the base pay for teacherswould do to rural districts with less money.
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