Education

To Lay Off Teachers or Cut Pay? Report Outlines the Tradeoffs for Districts

By Debra Viadero — August 03, 2009 1 min read

Looking for a way to cut school-district costs without laying off teachers or reducing class sizes? The University of Washington’s Marguerite Roza has an idea for you: roll back teacher salaries.

In a policy brief published last week, Roza notes that 93 percent of school districts across the country use a fixed salary schedule, plus a step increase, to calculate teachers’ wages. When you put the two increases together, Roza calculates, the total will bump up average teacher salaries in those districts by an average of 6.03 percent this year. That’s a good chunk of money at a time when many employees in the public and private sector are losing their jobs or swallowing pay cuts and benefit reductions.

Suppose, for instance, that a district had to make a 5 percent reduction in teacher expenditures. One way it could achieve that kind of reduction might be through laying off an average of 143 of every 1,000 teachers, which would lead to an average 17-percent increase in class sizes. But, if school officials let the annual step increase go forward and then rolled back the entire salary schedule for teachers by 8.16 percent, Roza calculates, they might be able to meet the 5 percent target without laying off teachers or boosting class sizes.

Roza’s strategy won’t work everywhere, but it’s worth a look. Her brief, “The Tradeoff Between Teachers Wages and Layoffs to Meet Budget Cuts,” was posted online last week by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University’s Bothell campus.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read