Governor Terry Branstad says he will conduct a “nationwide search” for a new state education chief. Iowa Department of Education director Jason Glass is exiting, to become superintendent of a Colorado school district.
“Jason Glass has done a great job and we’re sorry to see him go back to Eagle County (School District) where he did great work before,” Branstad told reporters Monday. “But I certainly understand the attraction of being superintendent in that district where he provided leadership in the past.”
Glass was the Colorado district’s human resources director for three years and helped implement a “pay for performance” system for the teachers there. As a superintendent, Glass is getting a $26,000 a year salary boost compared to his salary as the State of Iowa’s education chief and Branstad said the people he hires for top jobs make a “financial sacrifice” to work in state government.
“If you look at most of our department heads, you see in many cases people in local governments, in other comparable positions in the private sector make considerably more money,” Branstad said. “That’s just the situation, but I still feel confident that we can attract competent, quality people who are really focused on public service and feel a real passion for public education and improving education for all of Iowa’s students.”
Branstad intends to appoint an acting director of the Iowa Department of Education while he searches for someone to fill the job permanently. Glass takes over as superintendent of the Eagle County, Colorado School District on July 1. The ski resort towns of Vail and Beaver Creek are in the district.