A republican who’s played a prominent role in shaping G-O-P policy and politicians is urging Iowa legislators to raise the minimum teacher salary in Iowa. Des Moines businessman Marvin Pomerantz says it’s particularly important to raise teacher salaries in rural schools, where it’s difficult to find exceptional science and math teachers.Some G-O-P lawmakers are reluctant to raise teacher pay because, they say, rural schools can’t afford it. Pomerantz says there’s a danger the courts will step in and run the state’s small, rural schools as rural students’ test scores continue to decline.Pomerantz hears all sorts of horror stories about the teacher shortage, such as unqualified teachers leading high school math and science courses in rural districts. He says the only way to deal with it is to put a viable program in place.The minimum teacher salary today is 23-thousand dollars. The proposal Republicans are considering would raise it to just under 30-thousand and would tie teacher pay to how well students do in the classroom. Pomerantz has been a benefactor to republican candidates, and served as chairman of the Board of Regents under former Governor Terry Branstad.
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