Differential Pay: Maryland

2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-needs areas.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Differential Pay: Maryland results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/MD-Differential-Pay-9

Analysis of Maryland's policies

Maryland does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. However, the state does offer a program of tuition reimbursement for retraining in the areas of mathematics and science if the teacher agrees to teach in the public school system for at least two years following certification. Also, the state has adopted an Alternative Teaching Program, where candidates enrolled in an alternative teacher preparation program can earn a per diem stipend by agreeing to teach mathematics or science or special education in a state public school for at least three years. 

Maryland does support differential pay for those teaching in high-needs schools. The state offers an annual $2,000 stipend for teachers holding advanced professional certification who work in schools designated as "challenged, reconstitution-eligible, or reconstituted."

Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive a $5,000 annual supplement, a match to stipends offered at the local level. However, this differential pay is not tied to high-needs schools or subject-area shortages. 

Citation

Recommendations for Maryland

Expand differential pay initiative for teachers in subject shortage areas.
Although the state's tuition reimbursement program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in the career, Maryland should expand its program to include those 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-needs schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of the state's most effective teachers to its low-performing schools.

State response to our analysis

Maryland pointed out that in 1999, the General Assembly enacted the Quality Teacher Incentive Act which contained provisions to provide an impetus to comprehensive, competitive effort to attract and retain quality teachers. Significant changes to the original legislation were enacted in 2009. Stipends (for a dollar-for-dollar match by local school systems) for classroom teachers who earn National Board Teacher Certification (NBTC) will continue; however, the amounts for which teachers will be eligible are now dependent upon the schools in which they teach. Eligibility categorization is based on Maryland's NCLB Differentiated Accountability model. A classroom teacher or other non-administrative school-based employee in a public school identified by the State Board as having comprehensive needs shall receive a stipend from the state in an amount equal to the county grant for national certification, up to a maximum of $2,000. A classroom teacher or other non-administrative school-based employee in a public school not identified by the State Board as having comprehensive needs shall receive a stipend from the state in an amount equal to the county grant for national certification, up to a maximum of $1,000. Thus these stipends are now linked to high-needs schools.

Maryland also supports differential pay for those teaching in schools identified by the State Board as having comprehensive needs (developing or priority). The amount of the stipend in FY 2010 is $1,500 for Advanced Professional Certificate holders.

How we graded

States should help address chronic shortages and needs.

As discussed in Goal 4-C, 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.

Research rationale

Two recent studies emphasize the need for differential pay. In "Teacher Quality and Teacher Mobility", L. Feng and T. Sass find that 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 (CALDER: Urban Institute 2011).  Another study from T. Sass et al found that the least effective teachers in high-poverty schools were considerably less effective than the least effective teachers in low-poverty schools.

Charles Clotfelter, et al., "Would Higher Salaries Keep Teachers in High-Poverty Schools? Evidence from a Policy Intervention in North Carolina," Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, May 16, 2006 at:
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w12285.

Julie Kowal, et al., "Financial Incentives for Hard to Staff Positions," Center for American Progress, November 2008.

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 S.N. Kirby, et al., "Supply and Demand of Minority Teachers in Texas: Problems and Prospects," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 1999; 21(1): 47-66 at: http://epa.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/21/1/47