The pay increases teachers receive for earning a master’s degree costs districts across Connecticut $239.3 million a year, according to a report released yesterday by the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

This left-leaning think tank reports that since there is little research that advanced degrees improve the teaching profession, money would be better spent paying to retain high-quality teachers or to recruit teachers for shortage areas.

Included in the state’s new education law adopted earlier this year is the requirement that teachers receive a master’s degree starting in four years before they can receive the state’s highest certification. This professional certificate is often linked to a teacher’s pay.

While assuring a steady flow of teachers into the teacher colleges with this new master’s degree requirement, efforts to overhaul the colleges fell flat.

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