States News Roundup
The maximum pay next year for North Carolina's teachers would be increased by more than 20 percent, to $26,190, and the salary of starting teachers increased by about 15 percent, to $15,710, if the legislature approves the staff recommendations of James B. Hunt Jr.'s education commission.
The maximum salary for the state's most experienced teachers is now $21,640. A starting teacher with a bachelor's degree earns $13,660 a year, and can earn up to a maximum of $19,680 after eight years. For a teacher with a master's degree, starting pay is $14,940 a year. The state's average teacher salary is $18,327. Some local school districts add supplements to the state's base àgsalaries.
Additionally, the commission has recommended that the State Board of Education establish a "career-growth program" to help attract, recognize, and retain outstanding teachers. No indication of how teachers' salaries would be affected by the career opportunities was included in the report. The commission asked the state board to test a career-growth program in 24 pilot districts across the state by 1985.
Governor Hunt's budget chief said there will be enough money in the new state budget for a 10 percent across-the-board pay hike for teachers this year. Other state officials have estimated that about $200 million will be available this year for the teachers' salaries. Governor Hunt has said raising teachers' salaries is his first priority for the legislature's "short session," which begins in June.
The commission--a panel of 50 education and business leaders--met last week for the final time to approve the document. Mr. Hunt, who appointed the commision last fall, is expected to use the report as a blueprint for educational change.
Angered by the state General Assembly's failure to pass a bill that would give the state more control over vocational-education curricula, Gov. Anthony S. Earl of Wisconsin has threatened to withhold any increases in aid to vocational programs in the next biennial budget.
Members of the assembly approved a measure earlier this month that sets out a mission statement for vocational programs in the state. But the measure did not include a provision backed by Governor Earl that would have given the state board more control over the "initiation, modification, or discontinuance" of skills-training programs.
The lower house's version still must be approved by the Senate.
Governor Earl's strong backing of the skills-training provision was prompted by his concern that vocational schools were not tied to the needs of the state and local economies, according to Ronald McCrea, the Governor's spokesman. He said the Governor thinks the provision would "ensure that vocational schools are performing in a relevant way to the job needs of the state and that they reflect emerging jobs."
Until the schools re-examine the vocational curriculum, Mr. McCrea said, the Governor does not intend "to work toward increasing money for vocational schools" in the 1985-87 budget.
Gov. Richard L. Thornburgh of Pennsylvania has announced plans for a "Governor's School for International Studies" for 10th- and 11th-grade students who are academically talented in the areas of social studies, foreign languages, and international issues.
The new summer program, which will be funded with state and private contributions, will open this summer at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Studies. Each year thereafter, the school's site will change, with the University of Pennsylvania scheduled to serve as the host site during the summer of 1985.
About 60 high-school students will be chosen to participate in this year's session, which will consist of a month-long program of instruction by faculty from secondary and postsecondary institutions.
The School of International Studies is the third special institute for gifted and talented students sponsored by the Governor. He has also established programs in mathematics and science and in the arts.
Gov. Richard L. Thornburgh has enlisted 17 Pennsylvania agencies in a statewide effort to encourage businesses and other institutions to form "partnerships" with public schools in the state.
The state agencies will "adopt" schools in the vicinity of Harrisburg, the state capital, and will assist schools by tutoring students, sponsoring field trips, and setting up seminars on various subjects, said a spokesman for the Governor.
Planned by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Governor's Private-Sector Initiatives Task Force, the statewide "Partnerships in Education" program will encourage sponsoring businesses and organizations to make a "new investment in time, equipment, and expertise" to the state's schools.
Under the plan, "partnership coordinators" will be appointed in local chambers of commerce and in regional education offices, the spokesman said. They will promote closer cooperation between schools and potential "partners."
Washington State teachers should receive "significant salary increases" and teacher-training programs should be more rigorous, according to a report released by the Superintendent's Task Force on Teacher Supply and Demand.
The task force, appointed last August by State Superintendent Frank B. Brouillet, was made up of representatives of seven teacher, administrator, school-board, parent-teacher, and teacher-training groups.
Although the Washington state legislature has completed its session, the task force's recommendations will be considered in future policy decisions, according to Theodore E. Andrews, director of professional education and staff liaison to the committee.
The superintendent's task force recommended that the superintendent of public instruction promote salary increases for educators and develop a program of financial incentives, including scholarships and loan-forgiveness plans, for education-school students who are academically talented.
The task force also called for the development of a pilot program to develop optional career opportunities for teachers, such as participation in curriculum development or job exchanges with other teachers.
The group called on state officials to enact and fund testing programs, including a state-standardized achievement test for pupils in grades 4-8; a diagnostic assessment test using district-selected standardized tests in grades 1-3 and 5-7; and a district-devised competency-testing program for students in grades 9-12. The legislature also passed a bill similar to the panel's recommendation for state-standardized tests.
A study of New Mexico school districts that have switched to a four-day school week indicates that all have cut energy costs as a result.
Since 1973, 10 New Mexico districts with average daily attendance under 500 have adopted the four-day week. According to a survey conducted by the state education department, heating and electricity usage in these districts has decreased by 10 to 25 percent because of the switch. Some districts have also cut transportation costs.
According to Jack McCoy, an education department researcher, some officials also think the uninterrupted study time in the four-day schedule has boosted achievement.
The presidents of 11 New York State universities have joined together in an effort to improve elementary and secondary education in the state's schools.
Initiatied by Vincent O'Leary, president of the State University of New York at Albany, the cooperative project is designed to improve teacher quality, teaching conditions, and course content, and to encourage increased state and federal aid to education, according to Sheila A. Mahan, a spokesman for the state university.
They also pledged to establish a "state education policy forum" to encourage discussion among political, legislative, business, and education groups. And they said they would seek federal support for student aid, special education, and research, according to Ms. Mahan.
In a news conference at New York University's Midtown Center in New York City last week, Mr. O'Leary and John Brademas, president of New York University, announced the program, which will be carried out by the Council of Deans of the universities, a group made up of the deans of the state's education schools.
"Our concern with the condition of the schools is not new," Mr. Brademas said. "What is new is our unified commitment as public and independent institutions to work together actively."
The other universities involved in the program are the City University of New York Graduate Center, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Hofstra, Rochester, St. John's, and Syracuse Universities.