In Baltimore City
, teachers earn annual step increases through a combination of professional activities and annual evaluations. With positive student growth outcomes, among other factors, they can move between salary lanes. The District of Columbia
gives higher performers annual bonuses of up to $25,000 and allows the highest performers to increase their base pay by leap-frogging steps and lanes. Denver's ProComp
system let teachers build earnings through professional development, advanced degrees, student test score growth, positive classroom observations, and filling hard-to-staff positions. In Lee County
, step increases are only given to teachers earning ratings of effective and highly effective. In Albuquerque
teachers must meet several criteria, including student achievement standards, to move to the highest salary lane.
, Colorado is not part of the 81-district sample, but we have highlighted it as one of the most progressive districts we've encountered in our research. Harrison's new salary schedule has only nine pay levels, and a teacher's pay level is based solely on her summative evaluation and achievement data. You can find out more about the Harrison structure here
Out of the 26 districts which offer performance-based bonuses but haven't significantly altered their salary schedule structure, Prince George's County
(MD) and Houston
offer some of the largest bonuses. They give their highest performing teachers bonuses of $12,500 and $9,000, respectively.
Almost half of the states have some kind of performance pay law on the books. A number of these laws, though, are permissive, meaning they allow performance pay but do not require it.
26 of the 81 districts use performance as the top criterion for layoffs; that's up from only 3 districts in 2010.
Most districts still use seniority as the top criterion for layoffs, but the number of districts using performance instead is growing rapidly. Changes to state laws have driven this change in 23 of the 26 districts. These 23 districts are in eleven states that now require layoffs to be done primarily based on performance. The remaining three districts are the District of Columbia
(D.C. has no state-level layoff policy); Mesa
, Arizona (a new Arizona law states that seniority may not be the sole layoff criterion); and Meridian
, Utah (a new Utah law also states that seniority may not be a factor in layoffs).
Even more change is expected. During the 2015-2016 school year, Seattle
will go from using seniority as the top layoff criterion to using multiple criteria when determining the order of layoffs. In September 2016, Boston
will also move from seniority-based layoffs to performance-based layoffs. Both are the results of renegotiate contracts.
Go to Tr3's custom report page to access all the data we use in Tr3 Trends and to compare teacher policies in 114 school districts nationwide. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.