The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-Subject Areas: South Carolina offers incentives that teachers can earn by teaching certain subjects or at high-need schools. The state's Teacher Loan Program allows eligible teachers to cancel portions of their student loans by teaching in "a critical subject or geographic area." South Carolina also offers a conditional scholarship to licensed teachers to cover costs for an additional licensure area in special education. Recipients must commit to teaching in the new licensure area for a minimum of three years.
High-Need Schools: South Carolina does not offer incentives for teachers who teach at high-need schools, other than its loan forgiveness program.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive a $5,000 annual salary stipend. However, this differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools.
differential pay initiatives for teachers in shortage-subject areas and
Although the state's loan forgiveness program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, South Carolina 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.
Consider tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of South Carolina's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.
South Carolina 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.