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School Districts Working On New Education Programs

The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many Iowa school districts are seeking funding to set up new teacher compensation systems as part of a statewide education overhaul, Gov. Terry Branstad said Tuesday.

Branstad and Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck spoke at a news conference about the rollout of the education law approved last year. Buck said more than one-third of Iowa's 346 school districts are expected to apply for funding to set up new training and compensation programs for the fall. Those programs will boost minimum teacher pay and provide additional compensation to educators who take on a leadership role.

"We have a shared responsibility to restore Iowa schools to best in the nation and give Iowa children a world class education," Branstad said. "No other state has recognized the value of teacher leadership on such a significant scale."

The state plans to phase-in these new programs over three years, so not all the districts will get funding for the 2014-2015 school year. The department plans to announce who will get funding for the upcoming school year in March.

Branstad and lawmakers approved the education overhaul plan last spring. Branstad said the state was making progress on other parts of the plan, including setting up a state education job website. More than 2,000 positions have been posted on the site since it was launched.

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