Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-needs areas.
Mississippi has established a "Critical Needs Teacher Scholarship Program" to attract qualified teachers for both geographical areas and subject areas where a critical teacher shortage exists. The program awards full scholarships to those who render service to the state. Also, under the Employer-Assisted Housing Teacher Program, eligible teachers serving in a geographical area designated as having a critical shortage of teachers may apply for a loan of up to $6,000 to assist in closing costs associated with the purchase of a house.
Mississippi also has a Teacher Loan Repayment Program. Teachers who have received an alternative route license in a critical shortage subject area or hold a teaching certificate in any subject area and who agree to teach in a critical geographical shortage area can apply for $12,000 of loan forgiveness ($3,000 payable per year for up to a maximum of four years).
Teachers with at least three years of experience who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive an annual salary supplement of $6,000. However, this differential pay is not tied to high-needs schools or subject-area shortages.
Mississippi Code 37-159-3; 37-159-11 Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program https://www.ms.gov/sfa/loanRepaymentEntry.jsp National Board Certification www.mde.k12.ms.us/mtc/National_Board_Certification.htm
Expand differential pay initiatives for teachers in subject shortage areas and high-needs schools.
Although the state's loan forgiveness and housing assistance programs are desirable recruitment and retention tools for teachers at certain points in their careers, Mississippi should expand its program to include all teachers. A salary differential is an attractive incentive for every teacher, not just those with education debt or purchasing a home
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.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.