How Monopolistic Teacher Unionism Is Undercutting Math and Science Education

by

### Executive Summary

Most mainstream media reporting on the supply and demand for K-
12 public schoolteachers across America ignores the dramatic
differences for teachers at different grade levels and in different
fields. Around the country, school officials typically report they
have no trouble at all finding qualified people to teach in grades K-5
and middle and high school subjects like physical education, social
studies, and English. However, school officials in every region of
the U.S. frequently find it difficult if not impossible to recruit and
retain qualified math, science, and special education teachers.

There are two reasons for the substantial and growing shortage of
qualified teachers in fields like math and science. First, teachers and
prospective teachers with this specialized knowledge can nearly
always command much higher salaries in the private sector than they
can in teaching. This is not nearly so true of other teachers. Second,
the so-called “single salary schedule” used to determine teacher pay
rates in the vast majority of school districts in the country does not
allow school officials to offer higher pay for hard-to-fill teaching
positions.

School officials who routinely fail to fill math and science teaching
positions, or fill them only with teachers who actually specialize in
other fields, would undoubtedly modify or scrap the single salary
schedule, but for the entrenched opposition of teacher union
officials, especially local and state officers of the National
Education Association.

And teacher union officials have so far been very successful in
blocking significant reforms of the single salary schedule because
of state and local public policies authorizing them to act as the
“exclusive” (monopoly) bargaining agents of all the K-12 teachers
in a school district.

Union Monopoly vs Math and Science Teaching Final.pdf116.5 KB