The 2001 Iowa Legislature will tackle the teacher pay issue, but teachers won’t get a dramatic pay raise next year. It’ll be an incremental increase at best as legislative leaders and the Governor feel the constraints of a tight state budget. Senator Nancy Boettger of Harlan is the republican who will lead the Senate Education Committee. She says she really doesn’t know how much they will spend. She says what the need to determine is the definition of “quality teaching” and what they’re aiming to achieve.Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack had a panel come up with recommendations and Republican activist Marvin Pomerantz directed a separate set of recs. She says they’ll build from common ground.Boettger says a number of legislators have participated in seminars at which they discussed how to make changes.Boettger says it’ll be tough to introduce a new, market-based pay scale in public schools, which have rewarded longevity for so long. For instance, paying starting math and science teachers more than English teachers because there are fewer math and science teachers, so their service is more valuable.
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