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Productivity Improvements Paper Series

BY Laura Anderson
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Marguerite Roza, Jim Simpkins, Jessica Jonovski and Amanda Warco

These five Rapid Response briefs model the costs of productivity improvements in K-12 education.

Below are links to several papers by Edunomics Lab cost modeling productivity improvements.

The Real Deal on K-12 Staffing
In the absence of reliable estimates of national K-12 staffing, Jim Simpkins and Marguerite Roza compile data from several national sources to determine historical K-12 staffing ratios. Their analysis finds that staffing ratios across K-12 education have risen precipitously over several decades and, despite the impact of the Great Recession, remain at 2004 levels. A state-by-state comparison reveals large disparities across states.

How Late-Career Pay Raises on Teacher Pension-Debt
Teacher salary decisions are often made with little connection to the pension obligations they entail. In this paper, authors Marguerite Roza and Jessica Jonovski model the impacts of late-term raises on teacher pension obligations showing that on average each dollar raise triggers $10 to $16 in new taxpayer obligations. The authors provide suggestions to mitigate such impacts while improving incentives for early and mid career teachers.

Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students
Research has found that the impact of an effective teacher outweighs the impacts of smaller class sizes. In this analysis authors Marguerite Roza and Amanda Warco find allowing our best teachers to teach more students in lieu of hiring additional staff could offer teachers bonuses as high as $10,357 to teach just an additional three students. The paper includes state-by-state modeling of potential bonuses.

Turning a Benefits Conundrum into a Potential Opportunity for Teachers and Students
Teacher benefit costs are rising faster than salaries and new revenues are unlikely to appear. This new analysis by Marguerite Roza, shows how a longer work year could increase teachers’ annual salaries and improve student outcomes. This unique solution works best as a flexible option for districts.

Breaking Tradition: A fixed-dollar pay raise strategy that benefits teachers and schools
In this analysis Marguerite Roza examines both the degree to which pay systems for teachers are more heavily back-loaded than for many other professions and the ramifications of this steep salary curve for teachers, states and school districts.  She details how teachers and school districts could benefit by switching from doling out raises through percentage-based cost of living increases to fixed-dollar payouts.

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