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: Mississippi offers a Teacher Loan Repayment Program. Teachers who have received an alternate 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). However, no awards will be made to new applicants for the 2017-2018 school year due to a lack of funds.
High-Need Schools: Mississippi teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive an annual salary supplement of $6,000. The state provides an additional $4,000 stipend for those who teach in critical-needs districts.
Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program http://riseupms.com/state-aid/mtlr/ Mississippi Code 37-19-7 http://www.nbpts.org/sites/default/files/Policy/state_incentive_chart.pdf
differential pay initiatives for teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Although the state's loan forgiveness program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool 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 early career teachers with education debt.
Prioritize funding for teaching in shortage-subject areas.
Mississippi is commended for delineating strong policy to support differential pay. NCTQ encourages the state to prioritize funding for teachers who teach in shortage-subject areas.
Mississippi was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis. The state added that critical needs districts have the greatest teacher recruitment and retention challenges and largely serve low-income and minority student populations.
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.