A long-time elementary school teacher from western Iowa has been elected president of the Iowa State Education Association — the teachers’ union. Linda Nelson of Council Bluffs defeated incumbent John Hieronymus of Iowa City at the I-S-E-A’s convention this past weekend. Nelson says she “had some concerns” about the association’s direction, so she offered herself as a candidate who promises change.Nelson says there’s been a lack of visibility for the association in the past two years, and she intends to raise the union’s profile and “bring people together.” The union is at odds with republican lawmakers who control the workings of the state budget. The I-S-E-A has been pushing for more state aid for schools, and Nelson says that’s important. Nelson says the budget situation has really gotten the attention of teachers across the state, and the teachers’ union will work to identify which candidates “truly support education” and work to elect those candidates. She says half of the I-S-E-A political action committee’s members are registered republicans; the other half are registered democrats Nelson, who is a democrat, served in the Iowa House of Representative for four years. She’s been a classroom teacher in Council Bluffs for 31 years. For the past seven years she’s been teaching fourth grade. Her two-year term as I-S-E-A president starts June 15th.
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