Fw: Teacher Pay Raise Urged
FYI: Teacher Pay Raise Urged----- Original Message -----From: Randy SpaidSent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 3:06 PMSubject: FYI: Teacher Pay Raise UrgedTeacher 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,"
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