The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-needs areas.
Nebraska supports incentives earned by teaching certain subjects and in high-needs schools. The state offers a program entitled, "Attracting Excellence to Teaching," which provides high-achieving students who complete a teacher education program with loan repayments of up to $3,000 annually. Loan forgiveness is doubled if the teacher practices in shortage areas or a high-poverty school.
Expand differential pay initiatives for teachers in subject shortage areas and high-needs schools.
Although the state's loan forgiveness program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, Nebraska should expand its program to include those already part of the teaching pool. A salary differential is an attractive incentive for every teacher, not just those with education debt.
Nebraska commented that the Excellence to Teaching Act was revised to provide funds for individuals seeking teacher certificates (AETP) and for individuals seeking master's degrees (EETP). Consideration for awards is given to shortage areas. Loan forgiveness is based upon teaching, with accelerated forgiveness for teaching in high poverty areas. Two years of awards have been made under the EETP. However, new awards will be suspended for the upcoming two years due to budget constraints. Loan forgiveness will continue for all awardees who meet the services requirements.