By Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Nearly 40 school districts have been selected to initiate teacher leadership programs next school year as part of Iowa’s 2013 education reform plan.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Department of Education Director Brad Buck announced Monday their 39 school district choices. The districts will appoint teacher leaders, granting them a more significant role in leadership decisions and allowing them to work in collaboration with other teachers.

More than 100 school districts across the state applied.

Branstad says in a statement that launching the leadership initiative is a crucial step in implementing education reform, as allowing for collaborative efforts within schools will provide children with better educational opportunities.

The leadership programs will be phased in over three years, and by 2016, all school districts will have the option to participate.

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