A Simple Analogy for Understanding the Added Cost of Steps


I sent this simple analysis to Harford County, Maryland budget authority officials in February 1979 seeking to have them correct their erroneous claim regarding the “new/additional money” needed to provide steps or increments for teachers and other personnel.

Because Harford County officials have continued to make similar false assertions ( circa 2014-2016) regarding the added cost , this retired mathematician has examined the issue anew (this time more formally), created a web site, and placed the analysis therein. Hopefully the widespread and readily available analysis will work toward officials ceasing to make false claims and accordingly chose to treat its employees fairly by routinely providing steps or increments since the added cost is negligible-as proven by the author’s analysis.

Harold j. Breaux
October 24,2016
Simple Analogy for Unerstanding Added Cost of Steps.pdf


Fallacy of Increment Costs-Experience in Jefferson County Kentucky


One of the hoped for benefits of posting my paper on Increment costs on the Internet (on this web site) was that it would lead to a consensus of validation and support for the concept that progressive pay/increment systems leads to the need for little or no “new money” for projected year funding compared to a prior reference year payroll. The availability of the paper has led to the author’s exchange of correspondence with Mr. Brent Mckim, a Physics teacher in Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky, who is on leave of absence serving as his school district’s Teacher Association President. In that role he has been engaged in a discussion with his Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who claims that an annual 1.8% increase in funding is needed to pay for that County’s increment system. This claim is essentially identical to the claim made by the Harford County, Maryland School system as documented in the author’s paper (Appendix B, pages 58-60) on this website. In a series of e-mails with the author, Mr. Mckim first describes a thought process (gedankenexperiment) that leads him to the conclusion that the year to year budget should be largely unaffected by the increment. In a follow-up e-mail he thereafter cites how the state of Kentucky mandates that each school district must provide annual data to a master state data base listing average teacher salaries for the year. In the correspondence Mr. Mckim then shows how analysis of that data confirms the thesis that providing the increment leads to the need for little or no new money to fund the increment. This described e-mail correspondence is listed below.

Harold J. Breaux
September 19, 2014
Analysis-Kentucky Data on Increment Cost.pdf

Follow-up on “New Money” Costs for Progressive (Increment System ) Pay- Analysis of Six Years Of Harford County Maryland School Budgets


This writer has analyzed the question of progressive pay for teachers and other public employees (also referred to as the increment system) and placed that analysis in several postings on this web site to include an earlier paper titled:

“The Mathematics of Budgeting for Experience Increments, Longevity and Lane Changes in a Teaching System or Other Workforce [The Fallacy of Required “New Money ”]”

The earlier paper was based primarily on mathematical modeling , parametric analysis and analogies. This paper titled

“An Analysis of Harford County Education Budgeting and Expenditures on Wages and Salaries for Fiscal Years 2009 to 2014 and the Implication for No “New Money” Needed to Fund Increments”

is a follow-up that analyzes six years of archived budget data for the Harford County Maryland School District and reaches conclusions from that data that supports the thesis that little or no “new money” is needed to routinely provide a regular continuation or provision of the increment system. This thesis is shown to be in marked contrast to provisions in collective bargaining agreements (in the Harford County School system) that have made provision of the increment contingent on what this writer calls “false” levels of required “new money”.

Harold J. Breaux      Aberdeen, MD   hbreaux1@verizon.net

Budget Analysis 2009-2016.pdf

Breaux Family Vignette


This post is a Vignette on my Breaux Family Genealogy tracing my ancestors trek from Acadia (Nova Scotia) resulting from the Acadian Expulsion of 1755 by the British, their being dumped into Maryland, their eventual sojourn to Louisiana, their fate under Spanish rule, their role in the Acadian Militia and the American Revolution and their ultimate assimilation into the American mainstream.

Harold Breaux
August 21, 2014

Breaux Family Vignette.pdf