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Fw: Teacher Pay Raise Urged

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  • Don Deresz
    FYI: Teacher Pay Raise Urged ... From: Randy Spaid To: scieds@garnet.acns.fsu.edu ; sciedf@garnet.acns.fsu.edu Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 3:06 PM Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 16, 2000
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      FYI: Teacher Pay Raise Urged
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 3:06 PM
      Subject: FYI: Teacher Pay Raise Urged

      Teacher Pay Raise Urged By Kenneth J. Cooper Washington Post Staff Writer
      Monday, August 14, 2000; Page A19

      The nonpartisan research group formerly known as the Twentieth Century Fund
      has recommended the federal government take on a huge new role in education
      and raise teacher salaries to the level of other professionals with similar
      schooling, at a cost of $30 billion to $60 billion a year.

      The recommendation in a policy paper on teacher quality issues released last
      week by the Century Foundation, as the New York-based group has been
      renamed, would nearly double or triple the Education Department's $36
      billion budget. The government would also for the first time provide ongoing
      salary supplements to teachers and join states in performing that role.

      The other part of the group's proposal for increasing the supply of
      qualified teachers at a time when the nation faces a teacher shortage would
      expand federal involvement by setting standards for the profession, which
      has been a state prerogative.

      High school teachers would have to complete a college major or minor in the
      subject they teach, at least a summer of course work in instructional
      techniques and a yearlong "apprenticeship" as a student teacher.

      Vice President Gore has made similar campaign proposals to expand the
      federal role in education.

      Gore's more modest plan to increase teacher salaries in school districts
      serving low-income students would cost about $8 billion over 10 years. He
      has also called for uniform professional standards, but it would be based on
      how teachers perform on competency tests in their academic subjects.

      Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush has opposed federal
      involvement in either paying teachers more or telling states how to certify

      The nonpartisan foundation said its teacher quality plan "combines aspects
      of proposals made by players on both the liberal and conservative ends of
      the political spectrum." It does include, for instance, such favorite ideas
      of conservatives as basing teacher raises on their performance and paying
      specialists in the shortest supply more than other teachers.

      While the paper's authors do not indicate where the billions of dollars to
      raise teacher salaries would come from, they do offer detailed cost
      estimates, some based on census data.

      To make the starting salaries of new teachers match those of other
      entry-level professionals would cost $2.3 billion a year, or $10,555 per
      teacher. To equalize the salaries of all teachers with the pay of similarly
      educated professionals would boost the amount to $60 billion, "a huge
      increase considering that currently only $75 billion is spent on teacher
      salaries," the paper notes.

      The cost would drop to about $30 billion if an adjustment is made for the
      three summer months that most teachers don't spend working in schools.

      Reaction from other groups that study education issues was split along
      familiar conservative-liberal lines.

      "Most people want to pay teachers more. But if we try to raise salaries for
      all teachers around the country, it would break the bank," said Marci
      Kanstoroom, research director for the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. "That
      can't be a serious proposal."

      Kanstoroom also criticized as misguided the proposal for the government to
      help make teacher standards uniform. "We can imagine teachers who don't have
      the formal credential but who know the subject really well," she said.

      John F. Jennings, director of the Center on Education Policy, endorsed both
      recommendations.The government, he said, could easily finance the teacher
      raises out of the $3 trillion surplus projected over the next decade if
      education is truly a priority. "We've got the money, and it's a matter of
      where we spend it," he said.

      Jennings also argued it's a logical next step for the government to get
      involved in improving the quality of teachers, which research has shown to
      be a strong factor in student achievement. "If we're urging higher standards
      [on states], we ought to provide the wherewithal to meet those standards,"
      he said.

      © 2000 The Washington Post Company

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