2017 Teacher Compensation Policy
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: Pennsylvania does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects.
High-Need Schools: Pennsylvania supports the Urban and Rural Forgiveness Program, which provides loan forgiveness up to $10,000 for those teaching at high-need schools.
Pennsylvania Code 22.121.201-207
Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Pennsylvania should encourage districts to link compensation to district needs. Such policies can help districts achieve a more equitable distribution of teachers.
Expand differential pay initiatives for teachers in high-need schools.
Although the state's loan forgiveness program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, Pennsylvania 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 those with educational debt.
Pennsylvania recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.