The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-subject Areas: Kentucky supports differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. Districts may develop differentiated compensation programs that provide additional compensation above salary schedule. The state requires that a differentiated compensation program include at least one of its articulated purposes, with one purpose being: "to recruit and retain teachers in critical shortage areas." The state treasury has established a professional compensation fund to provide grants to districts using such programs. However, there is no evidence on the state's website that the professional compensation fund is currently active.
High-need Schools: Kentucky supports differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation for teaching at a high-need school. Differentiated compensation programs must include at least one of the state's articulated purposes, with one purpose being: "to provide incentives to recruit and retain highly skilled teachers to serve in difficult assignments and hard-to-fill positions." The state treasury has established a professional compensation fund to provide grants to districts using such programs. However, there is no evidence on the state's website that the professional compensation fund is currently active.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive a $2,000 annual salary supplement. However, this differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools.
Kentucky Revised Statutes 157.075; 157.395 702 Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) 3:310
Prioritize funding for teaching in shortage-subject areas and high-need schools.
Kentucky has articulated policy to support differential pay and should therefore prioritize funding for teachers who teach in shortage-subject areas and high-need schools.
Consider tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of Kentucky's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.
Kentucky declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
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.