Department of Education Director Brad Buck.

Department of Education Director Brad Buck.

The Iowa Department of Education has announced another round of school districts chosen to receive funding to launch teacher leadership plans. Department spokesman, Jim Flansburg, says 126 district’s were selected for the next round under the new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System. “There’ve been so many of them there’s going to be 76 in the next year and then another 50 in the following year,” Flansburg says.

The program is part of education reform measures passed by the Legislature in 2013 and signed into law by the governor. “The very essence of the program is that teachers will have mentors, the very talented teachers will have a career path in which they can get out of the classroom to an extent, and help newer teachers become better teachers,” Flansburg explains. “The bottom line is that we create a career path for teachers and make the education system better for children.”

There were 39 districts chosen in the first round for the program and Flansburg says the Department has gotten some good feedback already. “The things that we’ve been hearing have been absolutely tremendous. In fact, in Benton County there’s a school district out there that’s just doing a stupendous job with it. They’ve already seen some very specific evidence that scores are going up,”Flansburg says.

Districts that apply to start teacher leadership systems are required to have a seta vision and goals for what they plan to accomplish. They also must address meet certain requirements — such as setting a minimum yearly teacher salary of $33,500. “Ultimately we’d like to be able to have all the districts participate if they want. The legislature has allotted the money so there is 50 million dollars a year , and adding another 50 million dollars a year thereafter until all school districts are participating if they want to,”Flansburg says.

In the latest group, 76 schools would create plans for the 2015-16 school year and another 50 during the 2016-17 school year. The selected districts are:

2015-16

Albia; Alden (in collaboration with Iowa Falls); Ames; Andrew; Ankeny; Atlantic; Audubon; Baxter; Boone; CAL; Cardinal; Carlisle; Carroll; Center Point-Urbana; Central Decatur; Central DeWitt (Clinton); Central Lyon; Chariton; Clay Central-Everly; Clear Creek-Amana; Clinton; College; Collins-Maxwell; Dallas Center-Grimes; Davis County; Decorah; Des Moines; Eastern Allamakee; Emmetsburg;Fairfield;Fort Dodge; Glenwood;Hampton-Dumont; Hinton; Indianola; Iowa City; Iowa Valley; Lewis Central;Maquoketa Valley; MFL MarMac; MOC-Floyd Valley; Monticello; Nevada; New London; Nodaway Valley; North Cedar; North Fayette; North Linn; North Scott; Northeast; Okoboji; Oskaloosa; Pleasant Valley; Red Oak; Solon; Spencer; Springville; Stratford; Tri-County;Union;United; Urbandale;Vinton-Shellsburg; Wapello; Waukee; Waverly-Shell Rock; Wayne;West Branch; West Delaware County;West Monona;Williamsburg; Wilton; Winfield-Mt. Union

2016-17

Adair-Casey (in collaboration with Guthrie Center); Adel-DeSoto-Minburn; Alburnett; Aplington-Parkersburg; Bennett; CAM; Camanche; Cedar Falls; Centerville; Central City; Charter Oak-Ute (in collaboration with Maple Valley-Anthon Oto and Schleswig); Clarke; Clayton Ridge; Danville; Denver; Durant; East Sac County; Edgewood-Colesburg; George-Little Rock; Grinnell-Newburg; Guthrie Center (in collaboration with Adair-Casey); Highland; Independence; Keota; Knoxville; Lawton-Bronson; Lenox; Lisbon; Lone Tree; Maple Valley-Anthon Oto (in collaboration with Charter Oak-Ute and Schleswig); Marion; Mason City; Midland; Mid-Prairie; Moravia (in collaboration with Seymour); North Mahaska; Ogden; Pekin; Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock; Schleswig (in collaboration with Charter Oak-Ute and Maple Valley-Anthon Oto); Seymour (in collaboration with Moravia); Sheldon; Sumner-Fredericksburg;Tipton; Tripoli; Van Buren; Wapsie Valley; Washington; West Hancock; West Liberty; West Lyon.

Related stories from Radio Iowa:

Some school districts waiting to see how teacher improvement projects develop

State moving closer to beginning new teacher leadership programs in schools