Governor Chet Culver has revealed a budget plan that includes giving teachers the biggest raise in state history. Culver is asking legislators to approve an extra 70 million dollars to hike teacher salaries next year. That’s 50 million dollars more for teacher pay than Culver advocated when he ran for governor last year.
"Right now, (Iowa) teachers are paid about 36th in the nation," Culver says. "This will put us on a path to 25th in the nation, so you’re talking about literally thousands of dollars in the pockets of hardworking teachers." At 10 o’clock this morning, Culver will deliver a speech to legislators outlining his budget priorities. Culver gave Cedar Rapids-area business leaders a preview of his teacher pay proposal Monday.
"This unprecedented investment will allow us to attract and retain the best teachers," Culver said. "It will ensure quality teaching and show respect for the important work our teachers do every day." Culver also plans to ask legislators to raise the state tax on cigarettes by a dollar a pack.