Teacher Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Effects of Transfer Provisions on Education Production
With the upcoming presidential elections, many citizens and politicians are critiquing and reevaluating a number of policies on a variety of topics. One of which is our public education system. There is little argument that some changes need to be made. The question lies in what exactly these changes should be. I spent a summer evaluating a part of this problem. One of the primary organizations that work toward education advancement is the teacher unions. However, many believe that teacher unions actually impede this very goal. One of many hypothesizes concerning this issue is that strict transfer provisions and hiring policies dictated in the unions' collective bargaining agreements negatively impact the distribution of well qualified teachers, particularly in hard to staff schools. To explore this I interned with William Koski, a Stanford Law Professor with a specialty in educational policy. The project I worked on used both qualitative analysis and empirical evidence to evaluate the impact collective bargaining agreements have on hiring practices. Ultimately it was found that they do not actually have any negative impact. The second part of the paper will attempt to take the experience I had with Professor Koski and apply it to the economic theories I have learned over the past three years as an economics major at Kalamazoo College.
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