Bill Gates is sometimes a tool. Article on what he thinks is the answer to the money problem: step increases and increased pay for teachers with masters degrees.
"The only way out, he says, is by rethinking the way the nation’s $500 billion annual expenditures on public schools is allocated. About $50 billion pays for seniority-based annual salary increases for teachers, he says. The nation spends an additional $9 billion annually to pay salary increases to teachers with master’s degrees, he says."
Here's the thing, though. I was required by No Child Left Behind to get that masters degree, to prove that I am "highly qualified." I took out loans to complete that degree, $36,000 by the time it was done, for tuition and living expenses while attending a state university. Most jobs, if you have advanced schooling, that translates to a higher salary. Don't teachers deserve that too, especially in light of the fact that it's a job requirement?