Every public school district in Iowa is now required by law to list its job openings with a statewide, online database maintained by a private company. The mandate is part of the education reform package Governor Terry Branstad signed into law this spring.
“This, I think, would be a great advantage for former Iowans that want to come back as well as others that have an interest in teaching in Iowa,” Branstad says.
D.T. Magee, the acting director of the Iowa Department of Education, says the centralized system will help districts conducting a job search and help qualified teachers who’re looking for a job.
“It lets schools choose the best candidates by broadening the pool of applicants statewide,” Magee says.
The state is paying a private company about $30,000 to set up the website — www.TeachIowa.gov. The contract calls for the state to pay the company about $15,000 a year after that to maintain the site.
“Job candidates can view all education job listings in Iowa and upload their individual profiles for employers all around the state to see,” Magee says. “This means convenient, streamlined process with less paperwork for job applicants and more cost savings to Iowa school districts and taxpayers.”
Applicants can sign up for electronic notification of job openings. Scott Grimes, the superintendent of the Dallas Center-Grimes School District, has used a similar online hiring system for the past two years.
“Our district was able to begin reviewing applicants for positions within hours of posting instead of two weeks,” Grimes says. “With Iowa now using a statewide www.TeachIowa.gov online system and all school districts posting jobs…we see the same streamlined benefits and efficiencies, at a much larger scale.”
Not only are public school job openings to be listed on the site, but openings at the 15 Iowa Area Education Agencies and in the Iowa Department of Education are to be listed on www.TeachIowa.gov as well. Private schools can choose to use the system, too, but it is not required.
Aspect Solutions, the private company that’s managing www.TeachIowa.gov, has been operating online systems for four school districts in Alaska. Now, the states of Alaska and Oklahoma as well as Iowa are using the company to establish statewide online job listings.