Educators expect more state funding

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Educators across Iowa are hopeful new leadership in the Statehouse will mean different priorities.

Next session will usher in another era in state politics, with the newly elected Democratic majority pledging more money for education.

"I have no doubt that we'll have more money than has even been discussed so far for teacher salaries," said Jeff Berger, a lobbyist for the Iowa Department of Education. "I think they'll make efforts to do more general funding for schools, as well."

Democrats have pledged to boost funding in several areas: early childhood education, kindergarten-through-12th-grade schools, teacher salaries, and community colleges and universities.

Iowa is 40th in the nation in average teacher pay, according to a report released Friday by the National Education Association- more than $8,200 less than the national average.

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