In a new report on the effects of the recession on teacher salaries in 41 major school districts, the National Council on Teacher Quality found that teacher raises for experience and market forces like inflation were one-third to one-half of what they were at the beginning of the recession. Eighty percent of the districts studied had a total pay freeze or pay cut in at least one school year between 2008-09 and 2011-12–although none had a cut or freeze every year, and eight districts showed positive salary growth each year between 2008-09 and 2011-12. See the report for details on how the districts adjusted pay in the face of tight budgets.
One way districts could respond is by employing an Opportunity Culture: See our “Paying Teachers More” page to understand how Opportunity Culture models could increase excellent teachers’ pay up to approximately 130%, without increasing class sizes and within available budgets. In some variations, schools may pay all teachers more, sustainably. Combining these and other sustainable models to extend the reach of excellent teachers and promote excellence by all instructional staff may produce even greater savings to fund teacher pay increases and other priorities, while producing excellent student outcomes.