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Colorado district first to use market-based pay

A basic economic principle of supply and demand is taking hold in the Douglas County (Colo.) School District. The district is restructuring the pay scale for teachers and educators so the positions that are most in demand get paid more than those in lower demand.

In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind initiative in K12, the district last school year started using market-based pay for new hires. This year, it will use the new pay scale for all 3,600 teachers. The district’s chief human resources officer, Brian Cesare, who had worked in HR in the private sector, says the idea was simple.

“When I came here [two years ago], I thought, ‘Why are we paying 70 different types of teachers the same kind of salary,” Cesare asks. “We were paying the same salary to the nurse, audiologist, high school calculus teacher, and elementary school teacher.”

He says the step-in-lane salary structure, which has been used for 92 years in U.S. schools, is not tied to performance. Further, research has shown no correlation between a teacher’s time on the job and student performance, he says.

So Cesare created a five-band pay structure, with the harder-to-fill positions, like school psychologists, school nurses, and special ed teachers, getting paid the highest. In the second highest band are middle and high school math and science teachers. Art, social studies, and physical education teachers, and librarians are paid the lowest because those are the easiest positions to fill.


Read the full District article by Angela Pascopella here:  Colorado district first to use market-based pay

November 22, 2013 | By smtailer | Category: Human Resources

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