Republicans in the Iowa House argue the teacher pay bill Democrats are pushing would also make it more difficult to get rid of bad teachers. Representative Jodi Tymeson, a Republican from Winterset, says school boards are concerned by some of the proposed changes.
“They believe the practices that we have in place right now are working well,” Tymeson says. According to Tymeson, the bill would erase the Iowa law that says teachers who get a bad evaluation are only allowed a cost-of-living pay increase.
House Republican Leader Christopher Rants says it makes no sense to get rid of that.”Why is it that a teacher who is evaluated and not meeting standards should receive more than a cost-of-living increase?” Rants asks. Representative Cindy Lou Winckler, a Democrat from Davenport, defends the move to allow pay raises for teachers who’re falling behind.
“I truly believe that the information in the bill, the components of the bill, are in the best interest of all individuals,” Winckler says. The House vote tally was 50-to-45 in favor of allowing under-performing teachers to get additional pay above and beyond a cost-of-living increase, a vote Rants, the House Republican Leader, criticizes.
“You are turning your back on your local school board and you are making a conscious decision that they will have no power to deal with teachers who are not meeting standards,” Rants says. The bill also would plow an additional 174-million dollars into teacher salaries over the next two years, a move legislators from both political parties support.
The House debated the bill for about an hour this morning. Debate is scheduled to resume early this afternoon.