The Ottumwa Courier

Education

January 23, 2014

Teachers lead the way

OTTUMWA — Teachers are well suited to help Iowa regain its place on the top 10 states for education list. And there's money available for districts that agree.

In the most recent legislative session in Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad asked for, and — with some changes, received — an education reform package. His administration talked to parents, teachers and officials from other states to find what would really work for Iowa schools. Iowa should be toward the top of those "best states" lists, he said in multiple town hall meetings.

"This was [one] part of the education reform package," said Ottumwa school district superintendent Davis Eidahl. "The intent is to provide more opportunities for more teachers in a leadership roll and to compensate them for the additional responsibility and time."

The question from educators at the time of the suggestion: Is the state really going to fund this? Or, are districts going to get burned, like they have in the past?

Eidahl believes state officials are sincere.

"They have $50 million to impact a third of Iowa students," he said. "It's written in the legislation. It would take an act of the Iowa Legislature to defund it. So we're banking on this being long term."

A release from Branstad says more than "a third of Iowa school districts" are expected to vie for the state’s first round of teacher leadership grants.

"The voluntary program — which calls on schools to develop new roles for teachers — was the centerpiece of an education reform bill passed in May by state lawmakers. Participating school districts will receive an additional $309 in per-pupil funding each year from the state."

Just be sure to look at the wording carefully, said Eidahl. There are more than 300 school districts in Iowa.

"It's not a third of the schools [sharing in the funding], it's a third of Iowa's students. So if it's a couple of big school districts, that's it," he said.

Text Only
Education
  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta color photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities

    OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns

    OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT picture Bracelets -M -T Caring Kids

    OTTUMWA — Five fourth-graders didn't need grownups to show them it feels good to help others. They found out firsthand. "I wanted to do a project with the bracelets I make. And it's better to help people than to just do a random project," Kennedy Hug

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT Fairfield business students photo color Fairfield students proving to be future leaders

    FAIRFIELD — At Fairfield High School, students interested in making a career in a business-related field have the chance to join the Fairfield chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a nonprofit organization that helps prepare them for

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National