Opinion
Education Funding Letter to the Editor

Teacher Salary Schedules a ‘Tall Mountain to Climb’

February 23, 2009 1 min read
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To the Editor:

In your Jan. 28, 2009, article “School Leaders Target Salary Reform Toward Newer Teachers,” the National Education Association is identified as favoring shorter salary schedules as a method for improving compensation for new teachers and teachers overall. This certainly is a valid proposal. Most salary schedules are a tall mountain to climb from entry-level to maximum pay. Many teachers can’t wait out a stretched-out schedule, and leave the profession far too early.

In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Education Association, the statewide NEA affiliate, has taken the opposite tack. Through the union’s extensive lobbying, the state salary schedule was raised from 15 to 25 steps. Now that the system has been in place for roughly two decades, the OEA is lobbying for an extension to 30 steps. The mountain just keeps on getting taller.

Michael Barlow

Barlow Education Management Services LLC

Oklahoma City, Okla.

A version of this article appeared in the February 25, 2009 edition of Education Week as Teacher Salary Schedules A ‘Tall Mountain to Climb’

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