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EDUCATION: Pay bump for master’s an incentive

Letter by Scott Thompson, Puyallup on Nov. 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm | 87 Comments »
November 26, 2010 2:06 pm

Re: “Master’s bump: $330 million a year for nothing” (editorial, 11-26).

Hopefully the state won’t use that headline for teacher recruiting. I am happily in my 22nd year of teaching, and I am at the top of the pay scale at a master’s degree plus 90 credits and more than 16 years. I obtained my master’s degree in technology education in 1993 because the state strongly encouraged teachers to go this route for their fifth-year program.

The state salary schedule goes up based on two items: years of experience (hard to make time go faster) and education (something you can control). It maxes out at 16 years of experience and a master’s degree plus 90 credits. I have taken a variety of classes, workshops and seminars in my 22 years, and I plan to continue doing that. It doesn’t help my paycheck; it is for the pride in my profession.

Somebody in their wisdom once figured it out that if you don’t have a substantial incentive for people to obtain an advanced degree, they might not take the trouble. I plan on teaching for 30-plus years, but the salary schedule plateaus at the halfway point. I now rely on cost-of-living allowance corrections, which are at the whim of budgetary shortfalls.

I hope that The News Tribune will post the current salary schedule for everyone to see. I think you will see that it isn’t quite the boondoggle that the editorial board makes it out to be.

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