In the Media

Column: On the right path with teacher pay

Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, says North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposal for planned increases in teacher pay area step in the right direction.

Houck, who is an authority on education finance issues and researches mechanisms for allocating education funds, wrote an opinion column that appeared in the News & Observer of Raleigh. In it he said the governor’s proposal for a new “career ladder” pay plan addresses failings in prior approaches to teacher salaries.

“The most basic element is perhaps the most important: an increase in teacher salaries across the board,” Houck wrote. “No salary system can work to attract and retain talent if it is insufficiently funded. Reinstating bonus pay for master’s degrees earned in a teacher’s subject area more closely aligns this component of the governor’s plan with what research tells us about advanced degrees and teacher effectiveness.”

Houck continued: “Finally, allowing districts to define and pay extra for teacher leadership roles is something that district leaders are equipped to do: see their system needs and find ways to reward teachers for filling them. The use of an incentive fund to identify district-level pay for performance policies both encourages innovation much more than a legislative mandate and allows local leaders and communities to have full democratic say in the policies their boards of education adopt.”

The full text of Houck’s column is available here.