The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-subject Areas: New Mexico does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. New Mexico does offer a loan forgiveness program of up to $4,000 per year. The Teacher Loan for Service program requires teachers to work in a shortage area that is "either geographic or discipline specific."
High-need Schools: New Mexico's Teacher Loan for Service program requires teachers to work in a shortage area that is "either geographic or discipline specific." Up to 100% of a teacher's loan can be forgiven after completing the terms of the agreement. The state's Teacher Loan Repayment Act gives priority "to applicants who are teaching in designated high-need teacher positions in the state." Teachers are awarded assistance of no more than $6,000.
New Mexico did offer the STEM and Hard-to-Staff Teacher Initiative, which provided $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 stipends per year to effective, highly effective, and exemplary STEM (grades 6-12), special education (K-12), bilingual (K-12), or other hard-to-staff teaching positions to serve in low-performing (D/F) schools. However, it appears this initiative is no longer active and has not been funded since 2017.
New Mexico Statutes Annotated 21-22E-1 through 10 and 22H-1 through 9 Teacher Loan For Service Program https://hed.state.nm.us/financial-aid/loan-service-programs/teacher Teacher Loan Repayment Program https://hed.state.nm.us/financial-aid/loan-repayment-programs/teacher STEM and Hard-to-Staff Teacher Initiative: https://www.thegrantplantnm.com/grant-detail/new-mexico-public-education-department-stem-and-hard-to-staff-teacher-initiative-2/
Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in both shortage-subject areas and high-need schools.
New Mexico should encourage districts to link compensation to district needs. Such policies can help districts achieve a more equitable distribution of teachers.
New Mexico 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.