Magendanz teacher pay bill gets House committee hearing

The House Education Committee today held a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, to overhaul the way teachers are paid.

“If you ask the question, ‘Is the system we have now designed to attract and retain the highest-quality teachers?’ the answer would have to be no,” said Magendanz, theRep. Chad Magendanz speaks at a House Education Committee hearing education committee’s ranking Republican.

In the current teacher compensation model, higher salaries are based on seniority and advanced degrees. Magendanz’s bill, HB 1854, would replace the advanced degree requirement with National Board and ProTeach certification and move scheduled pay increases earlier in teachers’ careers.

“Advanced degrees are expensive, time-consuming and, as research tells us, largely pointless,” said Magendanz, citing a 2012 National Council on Teacher Quality study which found that 90 percent of teachers’ advanced degrees were unrelated to student achievement.

Magendanz said giving teachers earlier pay raises addresses the problem of teacher attrition rates after the five-year mark.

“If teachers are doing a good job they shouldn’t have to wait for a raise just because they haven’t been on the job long enough,” he said. “We know that at about the five-year mark some teachers start leaving the profession, especially after having children and weighing the cost of child care against their salaries. We want to retain those good teachers, so giving them pay raises sooner makes sense.”

HB 1854 also includes bonuses for teachers who take hard-to-staff positions and positions in low-income schools, as well as performance bonuses for schools.

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