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'I have no plans to ever live here again': Iowa education expert, future teacher break down retainment issues

Many classrooms across the state are missing a key component: teachers.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Many classrooms across the state are missing a key component: teachers. 

Iowa is still facing an educator shortage. Currently the Iowa Department of Education has more than 20 subjects currently experiencing teacher shortages.

Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek believes Iowa has always been an attractive place to live and teach, but lately new restrictions have changed that reputation for some. 

"When individuals hear the constant demoralization of the work they do, and the demolishing of our system, they have to consider if this is a state where they want to continue their career, or even begin their career," Beranek said.

Drake University student Hannah Schurz is an education major. With graduation around the corner, her future in Iowa is up in the air. 

With new legislation affecting teachers, Schurz told Local 5 teaching in Iowa is not part of her plan.

"At the end of May, I am going to be leaving this state," she said. "And I have no plans to ever live here again."

Beranek said there are many reasons for the teaching shortage, but pay incentive is certainly one of them. He said public schools are in dire need of finances.

"We are still at $33,500 as a starting salary. That has been in place for about seven years, and there are states in close proximity that are understanding that the starting salary needs to be higher to meet the needs of those individuals and their families that are working in our schools," Beranek said. 

Schurz said competitive wages are another reason she's headed out of the state for work 

"I actually have a job lined up. And [in] the state I'm moving to, my starting salary as a first year teacher will be $60,935 a year," Schurz said.

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