Gutted. That’s what Democrats said happened to Gov. Terry Branstad’s education reform initiative last week when House Republicans took the centerpiece of the plan and made it voluntary.
Under the proposal, districts could choose to raise starting teacher salaries from $28,000 to $32,000 and create new teacher designations of lead, mentor and master that come with higher salaries and more out-of-classroom responsibilities. Branstad’s plan had made that mandatory.
So was the governor despondent and the plan gutted? “No, no, no, no,” Branstad said. “Frankly, I think (House Republicans) did a great job … this is an important and significant step forward.”
Although the switch may have surprised Democrats, media and other observers, the details were negotiated between the governor and House Republicans long before they were made public Wednesday afternoon.