The Roosevelt School District in Maricopa County has at least 21 public schools under its direct administration and around fifty private and public middle and high schools all located around the district. Private and Catholic schools however, are not administered by the district in the sense that they are autonomous in terms of management, implementing policy guidelines, instructional materials, and salary compensation for teachers.
The Roosevelt Elementary School District in Maricopa County is considered large in size with its total number of students attending with 11, 902 and six hundred ninety-one certified teachers (Classroom Dollars and proposition 301 results). The district’s student ratio per teacher since 2004 up to 2006 was at seventeen students per teachers. How is a teacher’s pay determined? Salaries of teachers in Arizona are based on the “per-pupil” amount of funds allocated to the district.
Based on the comparative information, the average teacher-student ratio that receives a standardized salary of 42,500 is 17 students per one teacher (Classroom Dollars Proposition p. 61). That is, a teacher handling seventeen students on a regular basis is qualified to receive standardized salary. The salary of a teacher is determined by the funding formulas of the state and the municipalities where the school is located (College of Education Paper).
The general implication of this system is that the bigger the number of the students the bigger budget allocation for the district, and the better income for the teacher, because according to the paper, the teachers salaries comes from the operations and maintenance budget (College Education paper p. 91). This budget comes from local taxes and from the state. The fund is transferred to the district which turn is responsible for local budgeting. How is salary structured?
The district employed a standardized salary compensation for certified teachers based on their qualification and competency. It means that teachers had to be certified that their course are aligned to the teaching profession. Further more, the district implements performance based scheme for teachers wherein teachers are expected to yield positive results towards the district goal based on individual and school performance (Class room dollar and proposition). Since 2004, the Roosevelt Elementary School district offered an annual average salary of $42, 500.
These compensation schemes are standardized based on performance, competency, and educational qualification as indicated by the five point’s performance evaluation standard employed by the district (Class room dollar proposition). These performance indicators according to the paper published by the College of Education of the University of Arizona entitled Who will Teach our Young Children includes the degrees of certifications, scores on professional knowledge test, and the years of experience in teaching.
All these form the structure of the standardized salary of the teachers at Roosevelt Elementary districts schools (Who will Teach our Young Children, p. 61). Are there incentives for teachers to earn more money and is this an effective pay system? The district offers an up to more than five thousand dollars incentives to all it employees including teachers, librarians and other staffs. The incentives were given in form additional salary benefits of the eligible employees (Class room dollar proposition).
The paper published by the College of Education of the University of Arizona points out that the current incentives and benefits systems implemented by the district are given only to the most productive teachers and those teaching positions that requires “special skills” or expertise (College of Education Paper, p. 95). Although this performance-based incentives is defined by the state law or other policy and funded by the state, and can be earned yearly by anybody who had done exemplary performance (p. 1), it is quite apparent that these incentives and benefit system is an ineffective system for teachers. The College paper published by the University of Arizona expressed pessimism that it this incentive system will soon prevent districts from fiving special incentives (p. 95) to deserving teachers. Thus, according to paper, researchers are “looking at ways” (p. 95) to lure more teachers. Why the incentive system is not effective? The benefit system is ineffective because there are no clear guidelines about the funding for teacher compensation.
These affect the district budgeting because budget defends on “per-pupil” allocation. However, continues efforts to increase compensation, and benefits and incentives for teachers are a welcome agenda for teachers at Roosevelt Elementary School District. Does the teacher union have to say about the subject? Unfortunately, there is no teacher union at Roosevelt Elementary School District or in any other district in Maricopa, Arizona.
This is one factor one why researchers are looking for more effective ways of providing teacher’s salaries, incentives and benefit system. The salaries of teachers are decided only by the school board (College of Education Paper, p. 92). While the teachers union can provide bargaining for justifiable salaries, incentives and other fringe benefits, this does not happen at Roosevelt Elementary School District or to any other school district in Maricopa, Arizona, due to lack of teacher’s union.
Class Dollars and Proposition 301 Roosevelt Elementary School Districthttp://www.auditorgen.state.az.us/Reports/School_Districts/Districts/Roosevelt_ESD/2008/Roosevelt_ESD.pdf
College of Education, The University of Arizona Who will teach our Children? http://www.aztownhall.org/pdf/92nd_Workbook_complete.pdf Oct.27-30, 2008.