Friday, March 18, 2011

Corbett, Union Disagree Over Master's Degrees

Governor Tom Corbett wants to end automatic pay bumps for teachers in Pennsylvania with Master’s Degrees.
The governor also wants to get rid of state subsidies for educators working toward MA's. The changes were announced in Corbett’s budget address, and would reportedly save $200 million a year. Corbett’s budget secretary, Charles Zogby, argued advanced degrees don’t automatically make someone a better teacher. “Not that it might not improve the individual. Not that more learning isn’t a good thing for educators. But I think what we’re looking at is investments that make a difference for kids in the classroom, in terms of their learning,” he said.

Corbett is also urging public school employees to take a one-year pay freeze. The Pennsylvania State Education Association is urging union members to “seriously consider” the freeze, but doesn’t like ending salary bumps for MA's. Spokesman Wythe Keever said “teachers should be rewarded…for continued learning,” adding, “This whole notion that we try to encourage students to continue their learning. But it seems kind of out of place to say to teachers, you shouldn’t continue your learning.”

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