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Do School Districts Change Salary Policy Following Teacher Union Reform? Automated Text Data-Mining Analysis of Employee Handbooks From School Districts in Wisconsin

Sun, April 11, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division L, Division L - Section 6 Paper and Symposium Sessions


I examine how school districts changed their salary scheme following the union reform in Wisconsin. I use “bridging and buffering” (Honig & Hatch, 2004) as a conceptual framework to understand how districts respond to external demand and control. I employ correlated topic modeling, one of the cutting-edge text mining strategies, to identify different topics of salary schedules (e.g., changing to performance-based schemes or holding previous seniority-based salary policies) from multiyear employee handbooks that contain workplace policies in each district. I also investigate what school district characteristics are associated with the change in salary schedules and to what extent the change in salary schedules affects variation in teacher salaries.