High-Need Schools and Subjects: Delaware

Teacher Compensation Policy

Goal

The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.

Meets in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2021). High-Need Schools and Subjects: Delaware results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/DE-High--Need-Schools-and-Subjects-96

Analysis of Delaware's policies

Shortage-subject areas: Delaware offers the High Needs Educator Student Loan Payment Program, which provides loan assistance for those teaching shortage-subject areas. To qualify, teachers must have received a rating of at least "effective" on their most recent evaluation. Awards must be at least $1,000 and may not exceed $2,000. 

High-need schools: Delaware offers the High Needs Educator Student Loan Payment Program, which provides loan assistance for those teaching in high-need schools. To qualify, teachers must have received a rating of at least "effective" on their most recent evaluation. Awards must be at least $1,000 and may not exceed $2,000.

Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive a salary supplement equal to 12% of base salary. However, this type of differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools.

Citation

Recommendations for Delaware

Expand differential pay initiative for teachers in shortage-subject areas and high-need schools.
Although the state's loan assistance program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, Delaware should expand its program to include those who are already part of the teaching pool. A salary differential is an attractive incentive for every teacher.

Consider tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of Delaware's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.

State response to our analysis

Delaware was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis. The state added that there was a study examining the Delaware Talent Cooperative. Evidence from the study showed that while DTC schools did retain teachers at higher rates, the rates couldn't be attributed to DTC itself. The program was discontinued. 

Delaware also noted that it provides financial support for yearlong residencies, particularly for those in hard-to-staff high need schools and high needs critical needs subject areas. Specifically, resident stipends must be at least $25,000 for residents in high-needs schools, and $20,000 for residents seeking certification in high-need subject areas (math, science, language, special education, English learners). "While this program focusses on educator preparation, it does speak to our commitment of placing high-quality educators in every classroom."






Updated: March 2021

How we graded

8B: High-Need Schools and Subjects

  • Shortage-Subject Areas: The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage-subject areas.
  • High-Need Schools: The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in high-need schools.
Shortage-Subject Areas
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it explicitly supports differential pay in subject areas where there is a demonstrated educator shortage.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it partially supports differential benefits in subject areas where there is a demonstrated educator shortage (e.g., tuition reimbursement).
High-Need Schools
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it explicitly supports differential pay for teachers in high-need schools.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it partially supports differential benefits for teachers in high-need schools (e.g., tuition reimbursement).
**States will lose a quarter point overall for lack of funding that, in practice, fails to support differential pay for teachers in high-need schools and/or shortage subject areas. 


Research rationale

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.[1] 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.[2] Short of providing direct support, states can also use policy levers to indicate to districts that differential pay is not only permissible but necessary.


[1] For research that suggests high performing teachers tend to transfer to schools with a large proportion of other high performing teachers and students, while low performing teachers cluster in bottom quartile schools, see: Feng, L., & Sass, T. R. (2016). Teacher quality and teacher mobility. Education Finance and Policy. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/1001506-teacher-quality-teacher-mobility.pdf; Another study found that the least effective teachers in high-poverty schools were considerably less effective than the least effective teachers in low-poverty schools. See: Sass, T. R., Hannaway, J., Xu, Z., Figlio, D. N., & Feng, L. (2012). Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower poverty schools. Journal of Urban Economics, 72(2), 104-122. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1001469-calder-working-paper-52.pdf
[2] Clotfelter, C., Glennie, E., Ladd, H., & Vigdor, J. (2008). Would higher salaries keep teachers in high-poverty schools? Evidence from a policy intervention in North Carolina. Journal of Public Economics, 92(5), 1352-1370. Retrieved from
Would Higher Salaries Keep Teachers in High-Poverty Schools? Evidence from a Policy Intervention in North Carolina; Kowal, J., Hassel, B. C., & Hassel, E. A. (2008). Financial incentives for hard-to-staff positions. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2008/11/pdf/hard_to_staff.pdf; A study by researchers at RAND found that higher pay lowered attrition, and the effect was stronger in high-needs school districts. Every $1,000 increase was estimated to decrease attrition by more than 6 percent. See: Kirby, S. N., Berends, M., & Naftel, S. (1999). Supply and demand of minority teachers in Texas: Problems and prospects. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(1), 47-66.