Could $1 billion make teaching the best job in the world? Well, the U.S. Department of Education is banking that it can at least help make a dent in the perception of teaching as underpaid and not prestigious, anyway: It's pitching a $1 billion program toward that end as part of its fiscal year 2017 budget request.
Under its proposal, districts would use the funds to improve teacher salaries, working conditions, and professional development. Overall, the initiative also aims to help improve the distribution of teacher talent, something the agency has struggled to get states to do.
"I think if we want to ensure that teaching, particularly in our highest-need schools is attractive, we've got to make sure the compensation reflects the complexity of the work. That's why this initiative includes the opportunity for districts to increase salaries for effective teachers in high-needs schools," Acting Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., said in a press call with reporters Friday. "We have a lot of work to do as a country so that regardless of the ZIP code you're in, you have access to an excellent education, and teacher salaries are a part of that. And so too are working conditions," he said, noting the deplorable state of many Detroit school buildings.
The federal program, called RESPECT: The Best Job In the World, would give out competitive grants of $50 million to $250 million to states, which would then offer subgrants to school districts. With the cash, districts would aim to implement the following activities....
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
I Wouldn't Mind The Extra Money, But This Seems Like A Boondoggle Waiting To Happen
Is this nothing more than a political payoff, or does someone think this will actually change impressions? What will states and districts have to do to get this money (a la Race To The Top), and, since the money isn't a tremendous amount in each state, how do we decide who gets it and who doesn't?