Teacher Compensation Policy
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: Iowa offers teachers salary supplements for teaching in shortage subject areas.
High-need Schools: Iowa offers new teachers up to a $4,000 annual grant, not to exceed $20,000 for over a five-year period, to teach in high-need schools.
Iowa was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis. The state added that it offers grants for beginning teachers teaching in shortage areas through the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Iowa statute also allows districts to supplement salaries in high-need schools, but this initiative is not funded by the state.
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.