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Iowa education jobs advertised in new online job bank

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DES MOINES | An Iowa schools job bank has gone live with more than 775 education openings ranging from teacher’s aide to superintendent.

The job bank is a provision of the state education reform package approved by the Legislature this year.

Every public school district is required to advertise the vacancies on the website, which can be found at teachiowa.gov. Private schools can post on the site too, although they are not required to do so.

“I think it will make it a lot easier for a really good teacher that wants to come to Iowa,” Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday in announcing the job bank during his weekly news conference.

Branstad said he saw the value in such a system when his daughter, Allison, who is a teacher in the Waukee (Iowa) School District, was looking for a job upon her return to the state from California.

“Before, you had to, basically, go individual district-by-district and determine whether there is a vacancy and whether you had the right qualifications for that,” he said. “I think this is going to be a great service.”

The centerpiece of the education reform package is a new administrative structure that changes the way school districts can pay and promote teachers.

Ryan Wise, the director of strategic initiatives at the department, said school districts can apply for planning grants to help cover the costs of developing a new pay and promotion structure that meets the new law’s requirements. Those plans are due by the end of January. In March, the department will announce which districts have been approved.

If a district's plan is approved, it will receive roughly $310 extra per student per year to cover the cost of the new structure. The Branstad administration expects roughly one-third of the state’s more than 350 districts to be able to participate in the first year, with other districts to follow.

“This phased-in approach creates an opportunity to learn from the districts that go first,” Wise said. “We’ll see which models achieve the best results, and school districts will be able to plan and adapt accordingly.”

Asked about the ongoing interviews for a new director for the Department of Education, Branstad said he’d have an announcement within “days.”

Twenty-six people applied to replace Jason Glass, who left Iowa in June to be the superintendent of a school district in Colorado.

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