|Teacher Brain Drain|
|Subject||Unions and labor markets|
|Key Words||Salaries, Contract, Pay, Jobs, Government, Property Taxes|
In School District 196 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, less experienced teachers receive lower salaries than in the metro area, generally. For instance, starting salaries are $24,693 in the district, $1,806 less than the metro average, and well below the $31,690 paid in the Bloomington district. As a result, some teachers are moving to other districts. It is also harder to recruit teachers. The district says that it is expensive to fix the problem.
The immediate cause of the situation is that the teachers' contract gave bigger raises to veteran teachers. At the time, the district was expanding and had plenty of jobs, while other districts had none. Starting pay was not an issue. Further, the political reality for the union is that higher starting salaries do not benefit anyone currently in the district and teachers at the top outnumber those at the bottom three to one.
In addition, District 196 receives less money per pupil from state and local governments than 80 percent of districts, and the property tax base is small. Solutions include the possibility of more money from the legislature or higher taxes. Pay could be raised at the cost of larger classes and fewer teachers, but that would be unpopular.
(Updated June 1, 1999)
|Source||Amy Sherman, "Young teachers in District 196 frustrated by low starting pay", St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 18, 1999.|
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