Show me the or later?

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Let's say you just graduated from Ohio State University and were certified to teach in Ohio. You grew up in Dayton, but your best friend is going to teach in Toledo. Which city should you choose?

You'd probably want to find out how much you would get paid in each city. If you just looked at the starting salaries of teachers with bachelors degrees, you wouldn't think there's much of a difference: Dayton will offer you $33,936 while Toledo offers $34,086.

But maybe you want to get a sense of how much you'll get paid when you get more seniority and earn a masters degree. Looking at the tail end of the salary schedules, you see that the maximum salary in Dayton is $62,646, while in Toledo it's $64,303. Then you'd probably tell yourself it would be fun to teach in Toledo with your friend and visit your family in Dayton during breaks.

Not so fast. It turns out that Dayton significantly front-loads its salaries, meaning that Dayton's teachers get more of the salary increase early on in their careers than do Toledo's teachers. If you get your masters right away after college, the cumulative difference in salary between Dayton and Toledo comes to $55,000 in your first ten years. Then going back to your hometown starts looking really appealing.

It's too bad for Dayton that salary schedules are so opaque, as this weakens its frontloaded schedule as a recruiting tool. But, all things being equal, these frontloaded salaries should help Dayton keep its younger teachers and thereby develop a deep bench of teachers at all experience levels. It's something that other districts should consider.  

--Dhivya Arumugham