Martin, L. (2017). Is Oklahoma’s state-mandated minimum teacher salary sufficient? Evidence from 90 Oklahoma districts. The Young Researcher, 1(1), 118-128.
The state of Oklahoma recently implemented a minimum salary schedule for all public school educators. There is a lack of research on the efficacy of this new salary schedule and its effect on student academic achievement. This research aims to analyze the effectiveness of this salary schedule by comparing the scores of students from districts that pay only the minimum salary and districts that pay above the minimum. Ninety school districts were selected for analysis, and teacher salary data were collected, along with student score data for state standardized math and reading tests, for each of these districts. There was significant evidence that students performed better on reading tests (but not necessarily math scores) when their teachers were paid more. The fact that students from districts paying above the minimum scored higher than students from districts paying only the minimum implies that student performance might improve if the minimum salary was raised.
Keywords: teacher pay, student achievement, education finance, Oklahoma education