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Center for Economics and the Environment: Policy Series


While compensation accounts for roughly 90 percent of K-12 instructional costs, there is little evidence of efficient or strategic design in these systems. Rigid salary schedules reward factors generally unrelated to effectiveness, induce field shortages, and encourage inequitable allocation of professional staff. Deferred compensation systems impose sharp penalties on mobility, promote early retirement and generate large unfunded liabilities. Serious attempts to bring greater efficiencies to K-12 spending and raising teacher quality must confront the dysfunctional compensation system.

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Michael Podgursky is professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.