Earlier this week, the Democrat-affiliated Center On American Progress issued a report describing the rapid increase in costs of graduate degrees for teachers being paid out by school districts under contracts that provide incentives for additional credits and degrees. The number for Illinois are: 55 percent, 4 percent, $11,900, and $900,000. See details below.According to the CAP report, 55 percent of IL teachers have a master's degree (over 80 percent in CT and NY) and the adjusted cost of those degrees makes up more than 4 percent of education expenditures. The "master's bump" in Illinois averages a whopping $11,900 per teacher, and the single-year amount of money paid out to teachers (statewide) is listed as over $900K. That's not as much as NY ($1.5B), but it's more than CA ($863K).
Using four year old data, the overall total nationwide approached $15 billion. This is up 72 percent from four years before. There's no data on the current cost, though recent reports suggest that online master's programs have proliferated as a way for teachers to get graduate credits. The 2012 total is probably much higher.
Take a look and let us know what you think. Do you believe the report? Do you think that teachers should be paid more for masters' degrees as they are currently? How could the system work better, in terms of rewarding teachers for adding to their knowledge and skills and yet making sure that schools aren't paying for things that don't help educate kids? Please indicate in your answer what advanced degrees you have, if any, how much extra you're paid for having attained them, where you got them, and if they've led to better results for your students.