Teacher Compensation Policy
The state should encourage districts to provide compensation for related prior subject-area work experience. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Requirements: Alabama specifically encourages districts to compensate some teachers for related prior work experience. Career and technical education teachers are provided compensation above the salaries of general classroom teachers, and work experience along with industry credentials are factored into setting those salaries.
Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-2-.17, -.18
Expand policy to encourage districts to compensate all new teachers with relevant prior work experience.
Alabama should not limit this policy to teachers of career and technical education. Such compensation would be attractive to career changers in other fields, such as in the STEM subjects.
Alabama was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
8C: Prior Work
Districts should be allowed to pay new teachers with relevant work experience more than other new teachers. State and district salary structures frequently fail to recognize that new teacher hires are not necessarily new to the workforce. Some new teachers bring with them deep work experience that is directly related to the subject matter they will teach. For example, the hiring of a new high school chemistry teacher with 20 years' experience as a chemical engineer would likely be a great boon to any district. Yet most salary structures would place this individual at the same point on the pay schedule as a new teacher straight out of college. Compensating these teachers commensurate with their experience is an important recruitment and retention strategy, particularly when other, non-teaching opportunities in these fields are likely to be more financially lucrative.
Specifics of teacher pay should largely be left to local decision making. However, states should use policy mechanisms to inform districts that it is not only permissible, but also necessary, to compensate new teachers with relevant prior work experience.