Abstract: A small number of studies have examined the importance of collective bargaining agreements in the context of teacher quality, school finance, or student outcomes. Although the evidence for a bargaining effect on most measures is mixed, the preponderance has suggested that bargaining increases expenditures on teacher compensation. In this article, I provide new evidence for this result, using a dataset of more than 1,000 districts in states with a mixture of bargaining and non-bargaining districts. I present several specifications of a general model in which district spending on teacher compensation is conditioned on bargaining status as well as other features that account for district and state educational contexts. I initially find that bargaining districts spend more on teacher compensation, even after holding constant the number of students served. The results are more complicated when bargaining status is interacted with key variables. This suggests that bargaining influences expenditures, but with more nuance than in a simple imposition of additional average costs to district operations.
Journal of Education Finance – University of Illinois Press
Published: Oct 24, 2009
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