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### Governor Reynolds Signs AEA Reform Bill: Local Districts’ Responses

QUAD CITIES, Iowa (KWQC) – The bill approved by the Senate was signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Tuesday. This amendment entails salary increments for new teachers and allocates $14 million for education support staff like paraprofessionals.

Under the new provisions, the minimum salary for novice teachers will rise to slightly above \(47,000 for the current year. Experienced teachers with 12 years in the field will see their pay scale up to \)60,000. Looking ahead to 2025, the minimum teacher salary will be \(50,000, with 12-year veterans earning at least \)62,000.

Joe Stutting, the Superintendent of North Scott, expressed optimism about the reform, acknowledging that adjustments will be necessary. He highlighted the positive impact of increased investments in teachers, anticipating a boost in attracting talent to the profession, potentially from other states. Stutting emphasized the need for districts to reevaluate their payment structures to accommodate the new requirements effectively.

Regarding AEA funding adjustments, special education funding will remain unchanged for the upcoming school year, with districts mandated to channel all special ed funds through AEAs. However, starting next year, districts will receive special ed funds directly, with a requirement to allocate 90% to AEAs and retaining 10% internally. Media and education services funds will offer districts more flexibility immediately, with AEAs receiving 40% and districts having discretion over the remaining 60%. By the 2025-2026 school year, districts will have full control over these funds.

In response to the reform, the Davenport Community School District emphasized the importance of maintaining and enhancing the current AEA structure. Any alterations to the structure should be preceded by a comprehensive study involving educators, parents, and school board members as active participants in the decision-making process.

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