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School district looks into hiring more diverse teachers

Administrators say staff doesn’t mirror student diversity

April 3, 2013
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

The Marshalltown Community School District is continuing to try to lure more ethnic diversity into its teaching ranks.

Lisa Koester, director of human resources with the district, said the workforce does not mirror the ethnic diversity of the students in the school district.

"We need to set a goal of hiring more diverse staff," Koester said.

The school board has taken note and President Sherm Welker said they will plan a special meeting to talk about how the district can achieve a more diverse workforce.

"That's an opportunity to look at our diversity plan," Koester said.

School board member Larry Schrum said the district might want to look into identifying students who want to become teachers. He said after identifying them, the school district could come up with some sort of tie or incentive that would encourage them to come back to the district to teach.

One "carrot," so to speak, to entice people to the Marshalltown district is its pay level. Koester said Marshalltown ranks 24th in the state out of 350 school districts in average teacher salary. The average teacher salary at MCSD is approximately $55,000.

"So we have to feel really good about that," Koester said.

Koester said it can be difficult to attract diversity to rural Iowa, but they will continue to look at ways to get this accomplished.



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