Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett wants to end automatic pay bumps for teachers with master’s degrees.
He also wants to get rid of state subsidies for educators working toward master’s degrees. The changes, announced in Corbett’s budget address, 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,” said Zogby. “But I think what we’re looking at is investments that make a difference for kids in the classroom, in terms of their learning.”
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 teachers with master’s degrees.
“Teachers should be rewarded … for continued learning,” said PSEA spokesman Wyth Keever. “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.”
PSEA provides funding for Pennsylvania Public Radio’s Harrisburg coverage, but has no editorial input on its reporting.