Teacher Compensation Policy
The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-Subject Areas: Montana code mandates that the board of education publish an annual report of "licensure or endorsement areas identified as impacted by critical quality educator shortages." Teachers working in certain subject areas who qualify are eligible for repayment of all or part of their education loans existing at the time of the application, for up to a maximum of four years and not to exceed $3,000.
High-Need Schools: Montana's annual report of "licensure or endorsement areas identified as impacted by critical quality educator shortages" must include schools impacted by the educator shortage. The state's loan repayment program applies to teachers working at those schools.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive annual $1,500 salary stipends. An additional annual $2,500 stipend must be provided to those teaching in high-need schools.
Montana Code Annotated 20-4-501 to -505; 20-4-134
differential pay initiatives for teachers in shortage-subject-areas and high-need schools.
Although the state's loan repayment program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, Montana should expand its program to include those who are already part of the teaching pool. A salary differential is an attractive incentive for every teacher, not just early career teachers with education debt.
Montana did not respond to NCTQ's request to review this analysis for accuracy.
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.