The State Auditor says it’s time for the state to stop sending all Iowa school districts money to boost beginning teacher pay. State law has set a goal of bringing beginning teacher pay up to 24-thousand-five-hundred dollars a year. State Auditor Dave Vaudt says many districts have already met that goal, but continue to get money from the state. Vaudt says districts that’re already offering salaries of at least 24-thousand-five-hundred dollars to beginning teachers continue to get money from the state to boost beginning teacher salaries, which school district that’re struggling to pay teachers that much aren’t getting enough to make that jump. Vaudt says he has another money-saving idea for the state. He says it’s time to merge the two state programs that focus on boosting teacher pay. The Auditor says the educational excellence program former Governor Terry Branstad started and the newer teacher quality initiative overlap and have unnecessary duplication.Department of Education director Ted Stilwill says that’s a good idea. Stilwill says merging the two programs is something the legislature will want to examine. But Stilwill is opposed to cutting off the state money for boosting beginning teacher salaries to schools that pay rookies teachers at least 25-thousand dollars a year. Stilwill says part of the goal of that program is to help schools boost salaries for more advanced teachers to keep them in the classroom rather than exiting teaching for more lucrative pay in the business world.
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