Governor's education plan could mean good changes; depends on funding

When the 85th legislative session began in Des Moines Monday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad outlined his points and plan for education reform in the Hawkeye State.

The governor plans to use $185 million over the next five years to fund the plan, which largely centers around teacher compensation.

Governor Branstad proposes to increase the salary for starting teachers, as well as reward veteran teachers for their years of service.

"Just stepping out of college coursework and theory and into the practitioner's world, it is a challenge," said Ottumwa Superintendent Dr. Davis Eidahl. "Our teachers have been receiving very intense professional development at the lower elementary level for the past seven years and so a brand new teacher coming in and the expectation is very high, it's difficult for that teacher and so I think the governor's idea of addressing that is a good one."

For many districts across the state, the devil is always in the details and the trick is to see how funding will come through.

However, Dr. Eidahl said the Ottumwa School District has always been a progressive one, so the positive changes outlined in the plan will compliment teachers' goals and help students succeed in the long run.