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Department of Administration Press Release

No.15-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAEPR Releases Salary and Benefits Schedule; Teacher Tenure Study

November 17, 2015, ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Administration (DOA) has released the Salary and Benefits Schedule and Teacher Tenure Study conducted by the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) pursuant to HB 278, mandated by the 28th Legislature. CAEPR is a non-partisan research organization within the Institute of Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

In accordance with HB 278, CAEPR's report addresses the following topics:

  • Develop a base salary and benefit schedule for teachers
  • Describe superintendent duties, compensation, and responsibilities
  • Prepare a list of different benefit options school districts offer their employees and their associated costs
  • Provide recommendations regarding teacher tenure policy
  • Describe similarities and differences between the certified and classified labor markets in Alaska

CAEPR used literature review, statistical analysis, interviews, a survey and focus groups to conduct their research.

The report and the recommendations from the report can be found on DOAs website: http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/HB278SchoolStudy/

The CAEPR report examines one element of education policy—teacher salaries—but CAEPR acknowledges this is only one element that cannot be viewed in isolation: "we cannot be sure that implementing [higher salaries] would actually result in rural districts being able to attract and retain qualified teachers." (CAEPR report, page 29) CAEPR created a teacher step and lane salary schedule based on attracting Highly Qualified Teachers as the term is defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The report stated "it would be ideal to link salaries with student learning outcomes, but to date, no one has produced an effective and efficient way to do this." (CAEPR report, page 14)

Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development Michael Hanley echoed CAEPR's call to consider additional solutions (CAEPR report, page 30): "Recent indicators reflect a variety of factors that may contribute to student performance, including a family's economic status. The time has come for Alaska to examine how to critically invest in schools where families have fewer economic resources to produce better educational results."

Questions regarding the final report can be directed to Diane Hirshberg, Professor of Education Policy and Director of CAEPR, at dbhirshberg@alaska.edu or 907-786-5413.

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