On Wednesday at the National Press Club, Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivered a speech that called for reducing state and local correctional expenditures in order to increase teacher salaries in high-poverty schools. Throughout the speech, Secretary Duncan discussed the inseparable link between education and incarceration and reminded the audience that more than two-thirds of state prison inmates are high school dropouts.
Shortly after, the U.S. Department of Education released a state-by-state breakdown of annual correctional expenditures, teacher salaries in high-poverty schools, and the estimated impact of reallocating 21 percent of funding for correctional facilitations towards teacher salaries. By reinvesting these funds, states could increase teacher salaries in high-poverty schools by $15 billion annually, which could help school districts recruit and retain highly qualified teachers in the highest-need schools. (more…)