Again, this is true sometimes but not always. The needier the district, the more room for negotiation. You live in Alaska, where I presume it could be difficult to find qualified teachers in some areas. Where I live, we have more than enough teachers to go around. They offer you what is on the salary schedule, take it or leave it. Sometimes they won’t even give you full credit for your years of experience on the salary schedule if you’ve been teaching for a long time. My current district only matches up to 10 years. When I moved to Chicago, I could only get credit for two years experience even though I had been teaching for six. School board policy very clearly laid out that negotiation beyond two years experience was not an option. You showed proof for how many years you had been teaching and your degrees, and they told you what they’d pay you. Simple as that.