A representative of Iowa’s school administrators who’s serving on a task force on raising teacher salaries says those who’re pushing for higher teacher pay better be up front about just how much it’s going to cost, and who’s going to cover it, if they want to achieve their goal.

The task force will recommend raising minimum salaries for beginning teachers from $28,000 to $35,000, as well as giving career teachers raises for increased performance and responsibilities. Dan Smith is executive director of School Administrators of Iowa.

He was a superintendent back in 2001 when the legislature approved a similar plan, but then failed to pay for it when the economy soured

“We need to be careful that as we change public policy that we also provide adequate resources to make the policy successful,” Smith said.

“There have been instances in the past where policy changed, but resources were not adequate to successfully implement that policy change.” One of those instances included Smith.

“I was a school superintendent in 2001 and very familiar with the career ladder that was put in place with the hope that the additional rungs on the ladder as it were would be funded in the future,” Smith said. But the economy declined and the program Smith had look forward to died for lack of resources.

Smith warns if school districts are going to get behind the proposal, they need to know how much of the cost will fall to them. The task force recommends new state dollars for the plan, in addition to reallocating money from existing programs. The plan has a potential price tag of as much as 200 million dollars.