Iowa Senate Approves Education Plan

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By Ryan Jones

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Democratic-majority Senate has approved a beefed-up version of Gov. Terry Branstad's education policy plan.

The 26-23 party-line vote happened Tuesday. Branstad's proposal would hike minimum teacher salaries and provide incentive pay for teachers who take on additional leadership roles, like mentoring.

The Senate version maintains the salary minimums and would require districts to choose from several options for a leadership incentive pay program. It also has some new pilot programs, including one that would provide additional funding to disadvantaged schools.

Several weeks ago Republican-controlled House approved a scaled back version of Branstad's proposal. In their plan, the salary minimums and incentive pay would be optional for districts.

Lawmakers now must try to reach a compromise deal on new education spending.

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