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37 percent of parents in rural districts believe students get good STEM instruction

(Radio Iowa) – A new survey shows a great divide between urban and rural Iowa when it comes to math and science classes for students.

“It’s important that all young Iowans have the opportunity to get a STEM education that prepares them to be successful in both their personal and their professional lives,” says Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, chair of the governor’s Science Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council.

However, a statewide survey found only 37 percent of parents in rural Iowa believe their children are getting good math and science instruction in their local school district.

“There is an uneven distribution of teachers with math and science endorsements,” Reynolds says, “and there’s even some total gaps across the state of Iowa.”

Governor Branstad argues those gaps may be filled as small, rural schools raise beginning teacher salaries to the new minimum of 32-thousand-500 dollars. That’s the new minimum teacher salary was set in the education reform plan Branstad signed into law this spring. Sixty-two percent of parents who live in urban areas of the state say their local district is doing well in providing science, technology, engineering and math courses to students.