Differential Pay: South Dakota

2013 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas.

Meets a small part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2013). Differential Pay: South Dakota results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/SD-Differential-Pay-23

Analysis of South Dakota's policies

South Dakota does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. However, the state has no regulatory language preventing districts from providing such differential pay.

Other incentives are available to teachers by working in schools classified as high need. The Dakota Corps Scholarship provides full tuition and reimbursement for generally applicable fees to selected qualified applicants in high-need schools. 
The state's Dakota ASSETS grant, which recruits and selects candidates to fill shortages in high-need districts and schools, ended in September 2012.


Citation

Recommendations for South Dakota

Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in subject-shortage areas.

South Dakota 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 program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, South Dakota 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.


State response to our analysis

South Dakota was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. 

In addition, South Dakota noted that during the 2012 legislative session, House Bill 1234, which would have created a differential pay system, was passed. However, this law was overturned via referred vote in November 2012.

How we graded

Research rationale

States should help address chronic shortages and needs.

As discussed in Goal 4-C, 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.

Differential Pay: Supporting Research

Two recent studies emphasize the need for differential pay. In "Teacher Quality and Teacher Mobility", L. Feng and T. Sass find that high performing teachers tend to transfer to schools with a large proportion of other high performing teachers and students, while low performing teachers cluster in bottom quartile schools. Calder Institute, Working Paper 57, January 2011.  Another study from T. Sass, et al., found that the least effective teachers in high-poverty schools were considerably less effective than the least effective teachers in low-poverty schools http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1001469-calder-working-paper-52.pdf..

C. Clotfelter, E. Glennie, H. Ladd, and J. Vigdor, "Would Higher Salaries Keep Teachers in High-Poverty Schools? Evidence from a Policy Intervention in North Carolina," NBER Working Paper 12285, June 2006.

J. Kowal, B. Hassel, and E. Hassel, "Financial Incentives for Hard-To-Staff Positions: Cross-Sector Lessons for Public Education," Center for American Progress, November 2008.

A study by researchers at Rand found that higher pay lowered attrition, and the effect was stronger in high-needs school districts. Every $1,000 increase was estimated to decrease attrition by more than 6 percent. See S. Kirby, M. Berends, and S. Naftel, "Supply and Demand of Minority Teachers in Texas: Problems and Prospects," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Volume 21, No. 1, March 20, 1999, pp. 47-66 at: http://epa.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/21/1/47.