Reasons for Non-Participation in the Minimum Teachers Salary Program
This study of participation in the Minimum Teacher Salary provision of SB 813 was undertaken by PACE in response to concerns that districts were not taking advantage of the act. The Legislative Analyst in the Analysis of the Budget Bill has consistently reported underusage of funds appropriated for this measure. For example, under SB 813, approximately $12.3 million was appropriated for 1983–84 costs. Only $2.9 million was claimed. In 1984–85, $24.8 million was appropriated, yet a survey conducted by the Legislative Analyst's Office indicated that claims would total only $6.5 million. A number of reasons for this failure to implement the program had been suggested, but no one knew the facts. This study reports results received from 48 districts in the state, containing more than a fourth of the state's students.
The concern about underparticipation may be unfounded, according to our data. A large percentage of districts will be participating by 1985–86, and those districts which do not intend to participate have good reasons: their beginning salary schedule is already above $18,000 or they have few or no teachers at the levels affected.
Associated findings include: a greater percentage of large districts participate in the program than small and medium sized districts; suburban districts tend to be involved at lower rates than other types of districts; and participation appears to be increasing rapidly in rural areas. The mean salary prior to 1983-84 implementation was $14,905, indicating a potential mean beginning salary for those districts taking advantage of the program in all three years of well over $19,000 by 1985–86.