Community Training and Assistance Center

Teacher Pay: Reform or Stagnation?

Dear Friends:

Compensation can be a key lever in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. Yet, increases in average teacher pay have remained stagnant or have increased only minimally in states and districts across the U.S.

A recent article from the Charlotte Observer reports that, according to a North Carolina task force, "After years of study and struggle, no state has created a large-scale, long-lasting pay system that recognizes and rewards the most effective teachers...Instead, the teacher compensation panel said, the best hope lies in local flexibility."

Teacher pay is a hot topic in North Carolina as the legislature tries to make up for the state's rank of 46th in the nation in average teacher pay. After years of no pay raises, teachers are moving to other districts, and in some cases, other states, for better pay.

Similarly, in Alabama--where average teacher salaries rank 39th in the country, teacher pay was among the most controversial issues for state lawmakers. A Montgomery Advertiser article states, "Deciding whether to give a cost-of-living raise, fully fund health insurance or do both led to long filibusters, disagreements between the two legislative chambers, a division within the Republican party, veto threats from the governor and delays in finalizing the education budget."

Read the Charlotte Observer article and the Montgomery Advertiser article to learn more about the challenges states and districts face when creating teacher compensation systems.

Best Regards,
William J. Slotnik
Executive Director
Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC)

June 2014
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