Thirty-three more schools have been chosen by the Department of Education to launch their teacher leadership programs. Education Department spokesperson, Staci Hupp Ballard says these schools got a second chance at the program.
“This is a special opportunity for the districts that didn’t quite meet the minimum requirements in the last round, but they had already gone thorough the process with their communities and drawn up a good plan. This was an opportunity for them to make improvements to that plan and resubmit it,” Ballard says. She says the districts can now move to the next step. “It takes them from planning to implementation, and so rather than take the time and wait for fall application window to open up, they can really concentrate and focus on getting ready to implement their teacher leadership programs in the 2016-17 school year,” Ballard says.
The teacher leadership program is part of education reforms passed in 2013, and is designed to use the top teachers to help their colleagues get better. “What the system does, is it rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay. It provides a minimum starting salary and more support for new teachers,” Ballard says, “and it creates an environment for better collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other.”
The new additions will leave around 140 of the current 338 districts without a leadership plan. Ballard says they are hoping to have all the districts on board by the 2016-17 school year. The teacher leadership system will cost nearly 50 million dollars in the 2015 fiscal year and that is expected to grow to about 150 million dollars annually by fiscal year 2017.
The 33 new districts in the program are:
A-H-S-T , Akron-Westfield, BCLUW, Battle Creek-Ida Grove (in collaboration with Odebolt-Arthur), Belle Plaine, Bellevue, Belmond-Klemme, Bondurant-Farrar, Central (in collaboration with Starmont, East Buchanan and West Central), Dike-New Hartford, Eagle Grove, East Buchanan (in collaboration with Starmont, Central and West Central), English Valleys, Gilmore City-Bradgate, GMG, Janesville, Keokuk, Kingsley-Pierson, Maquoketa, Mount Vernon, New Hampton, Northeast Hamilton, Northwood-Kensett, Odebolt-Arthur (in collaboration with Battle Creek-Ida Grove), South Winneshiek, Starmont (in collaboration with East Buchanan, Central and West Central), Turkey Valley, Underwood, West Central (in collaboration with Starmont, East Buchanan and Central), West Central Valley, West Marshall, West Sioux, Whiting.