Policy Documents

A Better Way to Pay: Five Rules for Reforming Teacher Compensation

Jason Richwine –
April 24, 2012

To recruit and retain the best teachers possible, policymakers should avoid across-the-board pay increases, and focus instead on performance pay by easing restrictions against entering the profession and basing tenure decisions on classroom performance, writes Jason Richwine in a Backgrounder for The Heritage Foundation. Retirement benefits should take the form of 401( k)-style plans to avoid the cost overruns and irrational retirement incentives created by traditional pensions. Traditional pensions both push lawmakers to increase taxpayer costs more than budgets can bear, and hurt teacher recruiting and retention because they do not allow younger teachers to take away the money they have earned as well as encourage older teachers to retire relatively young.