Teacher Compensation Policy
The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-subject Areas: Colorado does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects.
The state offered a loan forgiveness grant to first-year teachers who taught math, science, special education or linguistically diverse education in a public school. However, that statute was repealed as of July 1, 2019.
High-need Schools: Colorado offers financial incentives to teacher candidates who agree to teach in rural districts. Up to 40 annual stipends of $2,800 are 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 noted other types of support offered to retain teachers in shortage and high-needs areas. The Retaining Teachers Grant Program provides districts with funds that may be used in a variety of ways, including offering differential salaries for teachers in high-needs areas. The Expanding Effective Teacher Residencies Program is designed to promote the long-term success and retention of highly effective teachers and aid in addressing the teacher shortage. The residency grant program is used to provide stipends for candidates with early childhood residencies and those teaching in rural and remote areas, among other activities. Lastly, the Center for Rural Education, which is funded by the state through the department of higher education, provides multiple stipend opportunities, one of which is already noted above. The additional stipends available through the Center include stipends to teachers with alternative licenses and those in their student teaching and/or residency to teach in rural schools, and for pursuing National Board Certification for rural educators.
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.