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Study Finds Increasing Teacher Pay Leads to Higher Test Scores

photo of empty classroom table
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A new study finds that better pay for teachers could greatly impact the education low-income students receive.

New research from the University of Akron finds that better pay for teachers could have a major impact on the education low-income students receive.

Study co-author Ali Enami examined several factors and how they related to students’ test scores.

One of the things he considered was Ohio’s program that helps school districts with high poverty rates fund construction projects. He says research shows no correlation between new buildings and test scores.

Enami on state funding for better teacher pay

“I think our research basically says that we should have some sort of funding from the state—extra funding I would say—for these school districts to be able to provide better pay for the teachers,” Enami said.

He also looked at other factors including class size and attendance. He says increasing teacher pay was the only one to show an impact. He found that a 1% increase in teachers’ salaries in high poverty districts led to a 2.5% increase in the math proficiency rate of high school graduates.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.