Teacher Compensation Policy
The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-subject Areas: Texas does not explicitly support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. The state allows teachers to seek out certification in master reading, master mathematics, master science, or master technology. Master teachers at high-need schools are eligible for an annual stipend of $5,000, which helps to provide additional compensation for additional responsibilities that include mentoring other teachers. However, there is no evidence on the state's website that Texas' master teacher grant program is actively funded.
High-need Schools: Recent Texas legislation established a Teacher Incentive Allotment, which provides between $3,000 and $32,000 per year for high-performing teachers, with higher incentive funding going to high-poverty and rural campuses. Teachers have the opportunity to be designated as master, exemplary, or recognized for a five-year period, if they meet established criteria based on the state's evaluation system (T-TESS) or alternate local appraisal.
Texas Education Code 21.410- 413 HB 3 (2019)
Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Texas should encourage districts to link compensation to district needs. Such policies can help districts achieve a more equitable distribution of teachers.
Texas 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.