DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Education has no pre-filed bills for the 88th Iowa General Assembly but is looking for budget requests.
Director for the Iowa Department of Education Ryan Wise said one request is asking for state funding to support the Iowa Learning Online initiative.
“This funding will ensure that we are able to offer those courses primarily in the areas of world languages. We know many schools struggle to find and keep teachers in those areas. Particularly rural parts of the state,” Wise said.
Wise said teacher shortages and children’s mental health are his priorities during the session.
“We think that there are some adjustments that can probably be made to allow first year teachers who maybe have not yet quite achieved the required score for their entrance exam to get in and build their skills. Some flexibility we can give to out of state teachers moving to Iowa. As well as creating a more consistent passing score for the exams required to become a teacher in Iowa,” Wise said.
“I think this year you’ll see an effort during the legislative session to fund scholarships that encourage and enable students to go in to high demand career fields. I also anticipate a continued focus on computer science and on work-based learning, which are two areas that we really have supported at the department as well,” Wise said.
Governor Kim Reynolds and the state have a goal set of having 70 percent of the workforce educated by 2025. It is part of her Future Ready Iowa program.