Left and Right agree on need for market-based teacher pay

In yesterday’s Charlotte Observer story, “Group of NC treasurer employees receives raises averaging $49,000,” my colleague Mitch Kokai pointed out, “When there is a market for a certain type of employee, it probably makes sense for a government to use market-based pay.”  That is what I would have expected him to say.

What I did not expect was that Alexandra Sirota, director of the liberal N.C. Budget & Tax Center, would take it one step further.  She remarked,

While the decision to shift to market-based (compensation) in the Treasury may be a good policy move in order to retain top talent, it raises a lot of questions about why such an approach isn’t being used for the classroom as well, for example.

I suspect that Mitch agrees that market-based pay is appropriate for classroom teachers.  I certainly do.

So, here are a few ways that we – the Left and the Right – can make this right:

1. Establish market-based pay levels for positions in short supply, namely math, science, and special education teachers.

2. Retain top talent by rewarding outstanding teachers with performance- or service-based salary supplements.

3. Eliminate the statewide salary schedule and allow school districts to pay teachers based on market conditions.


Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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