Thursday, November 11, 2010

Limits Placed on Teacher Pay for Advanced Degrees

Georgia teachers seeking quickie degrees at substandard colleges or in fields that won’t earn them certification no longer will be able to turn that off-the-clock labor into a financial windfall.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission Wednesday closed the public purse on teachers getting advanced degrees that they can’t use in the classroom -- a change that could save the state millions of dollars spent on teacher upgrades.

When the new rule takes effect, which officials said should be in one to two months, an advanced degree in interior design for a math teacher won’t equate to a pay raise.

“We are paying for degrees and certificates that people are not using,” said Gary Walker, director of the state's educator ethics division. “A lot of people will go grab a leadership degree from some of those colleges that don’t require a whole lot of work. They are staying in the classroom but they are getting paid for a degree in leadership.’’

The state of Georgia spends $800 million a year paying teachers for advanced degrees. The average salary bump for a new degree is $6,500.


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