EdMedia Commons Archive

Pay Teachers More-Within Budget, Without Class-Size Increases

Here’s some food for thought: how could schools pay teachers more – maybe even a lot more – within existing budgets, and without increasing class sizes? My organization Public Impact released a set of financial analyses this week with one answer.  These brief reports show how redesigned teacher roles that extend the reach of excellent teachers to more students free funds to pay those teachers up to 130 percent more, within current budgets.  In some variations of each model, schools may pay all teachers more while providing new, varied roles and sustainably funded career paths.

Public Impact analyzed three of its 20+ school models developed under its Opportunity Culture initiative, calculating the savings and costs to demonstrate schools’ options to increase teachers’ pay, without increasing class sizes and within budget. When teachers reach more students, additional per-pupil funds become available to support those teachers’ work. This additional funding, minus new costs, can be used for higher pay and other priorities, according to the values, needs, and priorities of each school. Schools facing continued financial pressures can allocate a portion of savings to cover budget gaps. Other possible priorities include funding extended learning time and smaller group sizes, among others noted.

Though the pay increases and savings made possible for any specific school will depend on local factors, these briefs provide a starting point for districts, schools, and teachers to develop their own projections.

In the Multi-Classroom Leadership model, excellent teachers with leadership skills lead and develop teams of teachers and paraprofessionals to deliver learning that meets the leader’s standard of excellence to multiple classrooms of students. Our calculations show that schools could increase teacher-leader pay between 67% and 134%.

In the Elementary Subject Specialization model, classroom subject specialists teach one or two core subjects in which they excel to two to four classes of students. Schools relieve them of other instructional and noninstructional duties, in part by providing paraprofessional support staff to supervise students during noninstructional time and complete administrative paperwork. Schools could increase teacher pay up to 43% using this model.

In a Time-Technology Swap—Rotation model, students rotate through age-appropriate portions of digital learning (as little as about an hour daily per student) to free the time of excellent teachers to teach more students and potentially to collaborate with peers. Schools could increase teacher pay up to 41% using this model.

These analysese grow out of 10 previously published detailed school models. We are also publishing implementation tools to help schools select and tailor models. In each of these models, teachers have career opportunities dependent upon their excellence, leadership, and student impact. Advancement allows more pay and greater reach. Most of the models create collaborative teams and enable stronger professional development. We call this an Opportunity Culture, explained in this infographic

Happy to answer folks’ questions about this via email Bryan_Hassel@publicimpact.com, or email me to set a time to talk.


This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.