Lesson 10: Public Finance Context, Improving State School Finance Systems,Redesigning Teacher Salary Structures.
The quest to change the way teachers are paid is not something new to this first decade of the 21st century. During the last half of the 20th century teacher pay structure changes were tried at least once a decade. And nearly all of the 1980s Nation at Risk reform recommendations included proposals for changing teacher pay structures to some sort of merit- or performance- basis (e.g., National Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education, 1984). But most failed and only a handful survived more than a few years (Murnane & Cohen, 1986; Odden & Kelley, 2002). So today, the single salary schedule that pays teachers on the basis of their years of experience and numbers of education credits and degrees is the schedule used by the vast bulk of states and districts across the country.