Governor Vilsack and his administrators are disputing the findings of a study which concludes Iowa teachers are making slightly more than the national and regional averages. Iowa Department of Education director Ted Stilwell says the Iowa Legislative Fiscal Bureau study is seriously flawed. He says they used data from a national Census Bureau survey instead of readily available data.Stilwell is among those who’ve been calling for an increase in Iowa teacher pay. Stilwell says the Fiscal Bureau study confuses people.The Fiscal Bureau study found the average Iowa teacher with a bachelor’s degree earns 30-thousand annually. Stilwell says credible data indicates the average teacher salary in Iowa was 35-thousand dollars last academic year — about seven thousand dollars below the national average.Stilwell says his estimate of the average Iowa teacher salary comes from the National Center for Education Statistics. Stilwell calls the Fiscal Bureau study an “unnecessary distraction” from the debate over how to raise teacher salaries and improve student performance in Iowa schools.
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