After watching Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State speech last Tuesday, I felt compelled to write this guest editorial as a lifelong advocate for Iowa’s hardworking teachers and the children they educate, support and guide to be our next generation of leaders.
While the gesture of a $1,000 bonus for a teacher is nice, it’s not going to keep teachers from leaving the state or their profession and it will not fix the overarching teacher shortage. This crisis is statewide, complex and has been going on for far too long. Businesses are tackling worker shortages, but we must acknowledge the teachers are the key to an educated and trained workforce. Our goal should be policy that produces a long-term solution to a complicated problem.
One that actually helps bring more teachers to the profession, retains our existing teachers and attracts more full-time and substitute teachers to Iowa.
Iowa’s hardworking teachers who have sacrificed so much the past few years deserve better. They deserve to be treated with fairness and respect — and be emotionally supported and properly supported financially.
At the end of our roundtable sessions, teachers, parents, students and administrators were grateful we had taken the time to listen to them. We currently are using their ideas and suggestions and will be working with legislators across the aisle for the benefit of our teachers and our children — our future depends on it.