IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Are Teachers' Unions Really to Blame? Collective Bargaining Agreements and Their Relationships with District Resource Allocation and Student Performance in California

Listed author(s):
  • Katharine O. Strunk


    (Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles)

Registered author(s):

    Increased spending and decreased student performance have been attributed in part to teachers' unions and to the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) they negotiate with school boards. However, only recently have researchers begun to examine impacts of specific aspects of CBAs on student and district outcomes. This article uses a unique measure of contract restrictiveness generated through the use of a partial independence item response model to examine the relationships between CBA strength and district spending on multiple areas and district-level student performance in California. I find that districts with more restrictive contracts have higher spending overall, but that this spending appears not to be driven by greater compensation for teachers but by greater expenditures on administrators' compensation and instruction-related spending. Although districts with stronger CBAs spend more overall and on these categories, they spend less on books and supplies and on school board–related expenditures. In addition, I find that contract restrictiveness is associated with lower average student performance, although not with decreased achievement growth. © 2011 Association for Education Finance and Policy

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to PDF is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 354-398

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:6:y:2011:i:3:p:354-398
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:6:y:2011:i:3:p:354-398. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kristin Waites)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.