August 19, 2003 - Posted at: 3:41 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A new system for paying Arkansas teachers is in the works. A special legislative committee recommended the changes today.
The new system, which includes a 15-percent phased-in pay raise, would pay teachers for performance rather than tenure.
The California-based education consultants who recommended it say it is innovative and based on experiments and research in other areas of the country.
The committee is studying how the state can meet a court order to overhaul its unconstitutional education funding system.
Yesterday members of the Joint Committee on Educational Adequacy learned it will cost about $825 million a year in new education funding to meet the court mandate.
The teacher pay increases will cost $283 million.
The consultants said raising entry-level teacher salaries is crucial to alleviate a statewide teacher shortage.