The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Shortage-subject Areas: Colorado offers a loan forgiveness grant to first-year teachers who teach math, science, special education or linguistically diverse education in a public school. Teachers are eligible for up to $2,000 in loan forgiveness for each of the first four years of teaching. However, the statute is scheduled to be repealed as of July 1, 2019.
High-need Schools: Colorado's loan forgiveness grant applies to teachers who teach in a high-poverty elementary school in a rural district. Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive an annual stipend of $1,600; the stipend is increased by $3,200 for teachers in low-performing schools.
Additional financial incentives are offered to teacher candidates who agree to teach in rural districts. Up to 40 annual stipends of $2,800 will be offered to individuals who student teach in these schools/districts. Candidates who do not at rural schools for at least two years upon completion of student teaching must pay back a portion of the stipend.
Colorado Revised Statutes 23-3.9-102; 22-2-504; 23-76-104
Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Colorado should encourage districts to link compensation to district needs. Such policies can help districts achieve a more equitable distribution of teachers.
Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
8B: High-Need Schools and Subjects
States should help address chronic shortages and needs. States should ensure that state-level policies (such as a uniform salary schedule) do not interfere with districts' flexibility in compensating teachers in ways that best meet their individual needs and resources. However, when it comes to addressing chronic shortages, states should do more than simply get out of the way. They should provide direct support for differential pay for effective teaching in shortage subject areas and high-need schools. Attracting effective and qualified teachers to high-need schools or filling vacancies in hard-to-staff subjects are problems that are frequently beyond a district's ability to solve. States that provide direct support for differential pay in these areas are taking an important step in promoting the equitable distribution of quality teachers. Short of providing direct support, states can also use policy levers to indicate to districts that differential pay is not only permissible but necessary.