Independent Research on Compensation Policy & Politics

This is a somewhat arbitrary list, but it should provide a good starting point for further research on compensation disclosure policy & politics.

–J.H. Snider


Pension Inequity Between Junior & Senior Teachers, and Related Incentives

Pension Politics

  • DiSalvo, Daniel. Government against itself: Public union power and its consequences. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
  • How Strong are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, October 2012. (Maryland described on pp. 181-186; it ranks 4th in union influence over compensation and work conditions more generally.)

Pension Liabilities

Hohman, James, and Carol Park, What Maryland can learn from Michigan’s successful public pension reform, Washington Post, April 12, 2019.

Moran, Danielle, Pension Fund Outlook Brightens in 41 States, Bloomberg, October 12, 2018.

Powers, Thurston, et al., UNACCOUNTABLE AND UNAFFORDABLE, Alec, March 2018.

Financial State of the States 2015, Truth in Accounting, September 19, 2016.  Note that this information is all for aggregate data, not for disaggregate data, which is the focus of

Does Your State Have A Pension Problem?, Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2015.


Compensation Disclosure Politics

Andrzejewski, Adam, Why are the salaries of a quarter-million federal employees – paid with your tax dollars – a state secret?, Fox News, Feb. 21, 2018.

Maciag, Mike, Disclosing Public Employee Pay Troubles Some Officials; A new GOVERNING survey finds some public officials do not think their compensation should be public as governments work to make the information more available, Governing, April 18, 2012.  See also Maciag, Mike, Public Employee Salary Disclosure Survey, Governing, April 18, 2012.  “Nearly 30 percent of state and local government officials say their pay should not be considered part of the public record, while half would react negatively to names and salaries posted online.”

Thornburg, Steven P., et al., Accounting, Politics and Public Pensions in the US, Accountancy Business and the Public Interest 2017,

Private Vs. Public K12 Compensation

  • Cracking the Books; How well do state education departments report public school spending? Cato Institute, 2013.
  • Fessenden, Ford, Are State and Local Government Employees Paid Too Much? It’s not an easy question to answer for a number of reasons. Here’s a primer on the issue, New York Times, March 6, 2011.
  • DiSalvo, Daniel. Government against itself: Public union power and its consequences. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015. Chapter 7 surveys the conflicting literature on this question.
  • Meyer, Warren, The Teacher Salary Myth — Are Teachers Underpaid?, Forbes, Dec. 22, 2011.

Gullible Experts Who Don’t Vet their K12 Compensation Data

Petrilli, Michael, You might be surprised which states prioritize higher teacher salaries, Thomas Fordham Institute, April 24, 2019.

Finn, Chester, Teacher strikes, teacher pay, and teacher status, Thomas Fordham Institute, May 2, 2018.

Chang, Alvin, Your state’s teachers are underpaid. Find out by how much, Vox, May 8, 2018.

Salary Data

State by State Salary Listings, National Education Association.

25-0000 Education, Training, and Library Occupations (Major Group), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Teacher Salary and Benefits, Teach.  Maryland data are here.

Mysak, Joe, To Get Into the 1%, You Need Adjusted Gross Income of $480,930, Bloomberg News, Feb. 22, 2018.

Teacher Turnover Data

Michelle Hackman and Eric Morath, Teachers Quit Jobs at Highest Rate on Record, Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2018.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey News Release, Bureau of Labor Statistics Press Release, December 10, 2018.

Mutikani, Lucia, U.S. job quits rate hits 17-year high; labor market tightening, Reuters, July 10, 2018.


Urban Institute: Maryland Pensions

Maryland Teachers: Hired Between Jan. 1, 1980 and July 30, 2011 – Plan Details, Urban Institute. This plan grandfathers the higher pensions available to teachers hired before 2011. Note the pension spike at age 55.

Maryland Teachers: Hired on or after July 1, 2011, Urban Institute. This plan, for teachers hired after 2011, offers much less generous benefits.  Note the different shape of the pension spike.

The Urban Institute’s report from which the above documents can be found is The State of Retirement: Grading America’s Public Pension Plans.

Truth in Accounting: Adequacy of Budget Dislosures

Financial State of the States 2015: Maryland (page 50), Truth in Accounting, September 19, 2016.  See also Truth in Accounting’s database for Maryland–2015 and database for Maryland–2016.  Maryland got a “D” rating for 2016, which is actually pretty good.  Note that the figure of hiding $11.5 billion is only for hiding aggregate data, which has little or nothing to do with the hiding of disaggregate data, the focus on

Baltimore Brew: Maryland’s Toothless Public Information Act (see point #5)

Plymer, David, Public corruption in Maryland: It’s no accident, Baltimore Brew, June 7, 2019.