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Is Teacher Pay Adequate?

In school finance lawsuits plaintiffs often claim that pay levels are not sufficient to recruit teachers who can deliver constitutionally-mandated levels of educational services. In this paper I consider several ways in which one might bring economic theory and data to bear on that question. I conclude that at present, and at least for the near term, education research cannot prescribe an adequate level of school spending on teachers, whether in the form of pay, benefits, or professional training, that can reliability predict a target level of student performance. If courts are predisposed to intervene in this matter, a more reasonable standard for adequacy is whether available revenues, when spent in an efficient manner, are sufficient to staff classrooms with appropriately-certified teachers in a flexible licensing regime that satisfies both state and federal teacher quality standards.

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File URL: https://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2006/wp0601_podgursky.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 03 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0601
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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/

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  1. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  3. Susanna Loeb & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "Examining The Link Between Teacher Wages And Student Outcomes: The Importance Of Alternative Labor Market Opportunities And Non-Pecuniary Variation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, August.
  4. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1998. "Teacher recruitment and retention in public and private schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 393-417.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Daniel M. O'Brien & Steven G. Rivkin, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 11154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  7. Caroline M. Hoxby & Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Pulled Away or Pushed Out? Explaining the Decline of Teacher Aptitude in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 236-240, May.
  8. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb, 2003. "The Draw of Home: How Teachers' Preferences for Proximity Disadvantage Urban Schools," NBER Working Papers 9953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Podgursky, Michael & Monroe, Ryan & Watson, Donald, 2004. "The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 507-518, October.
  10. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Darius Lakdawalla, 2001. "The Declining Quality of Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
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