DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s public school teachers make about $7,100 less than the national average. Governor Kim Reynolds said she is working on a plan to make raising their salaries a priority.

“This was a pretty big (education) package that we put together this year,” Reynolds said during a taping of “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS.

Watch the episode here.

During the past legislative session, the Republican-led legislature approved $7,600 per year education savings accounts for students in private schools, restrictions on teachers in kindergarten through sixth discussing gender identity with students, along with requirements that children use multi-student restrooms at school that match their gender assigned at birth.

Legislative Democrats wanted Republicans to also prioritize raising public school teachers’ pay, but that didn’t happen.

Reynolds said she is already working on ideas to do that next year.

“I talked to rural administrators and worked with rural legislators,” Reynolds said. “They weren’t able to pay as much sometimes as the urban school districts were able to pay.”

The National Center for Education Statistics reported the average Iowa public school teacher earned $59,262 during the 2021-22 school year (the most recent year that was available), compared to the national average of $66,397.

Compare Iowa’s public teacher salaries with other states here.