Compensation and Incentives for Teachers

1. Offer long-term school leader salary policies that are market sensitive and competitive.

2. Provide short-term inducements to address immediate teacher recruitment problems.


1. Offer long-term school leader salary policies that are market sensitive and competitive.

    Why It Is Important
    • Teachers’ compensation can improve teacher recruitment, retention, and quality in the short and long term.
    • Stand-alone compensation reforms that are not aligned with professional development, teacher evaluation, or hiring practices are less likely to be as effective as more comprehensive reforms.

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    Increase teacher base pay overall.

    Allocate resources, and negotiate with unions to ensure that teachers’ salaries are sufficient to achieve improvements in teacher recruitment, retention, and quality so that supply equals demand.

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    Increase pay for certain groups of teachers—this might include providing incentives for teachers in high-need subjects, at high-need schools, and in leadership roles, and might include performance-based compensation.
    • Weighing the financial benefits and political costs, target resources toward groups such as teachers in high-need subjects, teachers in hard-to-staff schools, and high-quality teachers, such as those certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
    • Focus specifically on the persistent teacher shortage areas, such as the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.
    • Consider that although increasing pay may seem cost-prohibitive, high turnover rates are costly to schools and districts.
    • Ensure that rewards are substantial for high to average performers in order for the system to be most effective.
    • Use performance evaluation information to inform compensation decisions, aligning the two as required by HB 153 passed by the 129th Ohio General Assembly.
    • Ensure that there is a fair and accurate system for measuring student performance and growth if teachers receive performance-based compensation.
    • Use incentives strategically to ensure the equitable distribution of teachers across schools and classrooms.
    • Ensure that professional development helps teachers move toward earning higher salaries.

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    Involve all stakeholders in any changes to pay policy.
    • Actively involve teachers in any compensation reform efforts.
    • Ensure that the concerns of all stakeholder groups are addressed.
    • Work hard to create essential broad-based community support.
    • Incorporate salary changes into the union contract using interest-based rather than positional bargaining.

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    Ensure that resources are available to sustain the commitment to pay reform, possibly by reallocating existing resources.

    Collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that resources are available for pay policies to be maintained long term.

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2. Provide short-term inducements to address immediate teacher recruitment problems.

    Why It Is Important
    • Such inducements help to fill immediate vacancies using fewer resources than those required for more long-term solutions.
    • Although there is no research to support many short-term financial inducements, governments in the United States and abroad have been experimenting with them as a potential means to improve teacher recruitment.
    • Targeted incentives can be used strategically to help address teacher distribution problems.

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    Consider the source of your recruitment challenges and, if appropriate, introduce signing bonuses, loan repayments, or housing assistance for teachers in hard-to-staff schools or in areas of shortage.
    • It is of note that the research base documents widespread use of these strategies, although the research is not well developed around the effectiveness 
      of such approaches.
    • Use such incentives to encourage teachers to teach in hard-to-staff schools.
    • Allow teachers to petition out of
      in-district housing requirements.

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Last Modified: 5/8/2013 2:03:23 PM