The state should give local districts authority over pay scales.
To determine teachers' salaries, Texas provides local districts with a Minimum Salary Schedule, based on years of experience.
2010-2011 Minimum Salary Schedule http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147485382
Give districts flexibility to determine their own pay structure and scales.
While Texas may find it appropriate to articulate the starting salary that a teacher should be paid, it should not require districts to adhere to a state-dictated salary schedule.
Discourage districts from tying compensation to advanced degrees.
While still leaving districts the flexibility to establish their own pay scale, Texas should articulate policies that definitively discourage districts from tying compensation to advanced degrees, in light of the extensive research showing that such degrees do not have an impact on teacher effectiveness.
Discourage salary schedules that imply that teachers with the most experience are the most effective.
Similarly, Texas should articulate policies that discourage districts from determining the highest steps on the pay scale solely by seniority.
Texas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. Texas pointed out the Chapter 21, Section 21.402 of the Texas Education Code establishes the base minimum salary schedule. School districts have the flexibility to determine their own salary schedule for any amount above the state base. The state does not have any requirements for paying for advanced degree. Additional pay for advanced degrees is a local decision.
Given the overwhelming research consensus that advanced degrees do not have an impact on teacher effectiveness, Texas should consider a policy that discourages districts from providing additional pay on this basis.