Castin' out salary lures and waitin' for the fish to bite

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Several districts in the Tarheel State are showing some serious moxie by considering plans to pay teachers differently--really differently--depending on what, where, and how they teach. The salary jumps offered under these proposed plans are much bigger than anything else we have seen nationwide, and the focus on their potential seems to signal a rising interest in implementing differential pay plans that are more than just symbolic.

In Guilford County, a plan was recently approved to give bonuses to math teachers who take positions in hard-to-staff schools. This bold plan is more than just differential pay, though, there's a performance component as well: teachers producing achievement gains would make even more still, up to $14,000 annually. Teachers in other disciplines would be able to earn up to $6,500 more annually just for teaching in hard-to-staff schools. The county had already attempted to draw teachers into hard-to-staff schools with a $2,500 signing bonus, but that amount had only modest effects. Superintendent Grieg said, "I don't know if it's going to work...I know what we are doing isn't working."

Another proposal currently before the state legislature would give hefty bonuses of roughly $15,000 to first-time math teachers in several of the state's poorest counties. Really good stuff happening here--folks doing what it takes to get the teachers they need. Keep it up, Tarheels!