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  • Department of Global Development

Dissertation Title

Hitting the $40,000 Threshold: Analyzing Implementation of Indiana Teacher Pay Policy

Ph.D. Candidate

Kristie LeBeau


My dissertation examines the localized, community-wide implications of K-12 education policies. Across the US, there is a current push to improve teacher pay; however, most of these policies have a one-size-fits-all approach and assume the impact of the legislation will be equal across place. In my three-paper dissertation, I use mixed methodologies to study three questions about a teacher pay policy that took effect in Indiana in the 2022-23 school year (Ind. Code § 20-28-9-26). In my first paper, I use mapping in GIS and spatial regressions in Stata and GeoDa to show that the policy, while successful in raising minimum salaries, failed to address disparities in salaries across urban, suburban, and rural districts. In my second paper, I explore the intersection of demographic change and policy through interviews with rural school leaders that shed light on a disparity masked in the original quantitative salary analysis: population loss. Enrollment loss was cited as a barrier to raising salaries, and as many remote rural districts across the state are losing enrollment, rural district leaders are forced to strategically use their agency to navigate state, financial, and local pressures. In my last paper, I apply a method from economic development research to quantitatively estimate the impact of the increased teacher salaries on local economies and show how impact differs according to the consumer decisions of staff.

Student Bio

Kristie LeBeau is a PhD candidate in Development Sociology. She is an educational sociologist who examines the education system outside the four walls of a classroom. Her research explores the social and economic consequences of education policies across and within school-communities, with a particular focus on rural communities.

Date & Time

March 29, 2024
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Kristie LeBeau headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Rachel Bezner Kerr, Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Field of Development Studies

  • rbeznerkerr [at]



Department of Global Development

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