Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, has proposed increasing the state’s education budget by $187 million. While most Republican-led states have focused on vouchers and charter schools, Iowa has no private school voucher program and has only 3 charter schools in the entire state.
"Ninety-eight percent of the kids in Iowa go to public schools. I went to public school and got a great education," said Branstad, who likes to note that his daughter is a teacher. "I'm very willing to invest more resources, but I want to invest in an intelligent way."
Gov. Branstand is hoping that implementing new policies such as raising the minimum salary of teachers will attract the best people to the profession. This isn’t the first time Iowa has attempted education reform. Last year, teacher accountability standards were raised, as were the requirements for students to be promoted to the fourth grade.
While the Republican Party of Iowa does not seem to be fully on board with the new proposals, it’s nice to see a Republican governor care more about the nation’s future than his party’s over-65 constituency.