The state should encourage districts to provide compensation for related prior subject-area work experience. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Requirements: Texas encourages its districts to compensate
teachers for related prior subject-area work experience. "For each year of
work experience...up to a maximum of two years, a certified career or
technology education teacher is entitled to a salary step credit as if the work
experience were teaching experience." The state also allows credit for "service in out-of-state private schools, foreign public and private institutions, the military, and colleges and universities."
Texas Education Code 21.403(b) Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Rule 153.1021
policy to encourage districts to compensate all new teachers with
relevant prior work experience.
Texas should not limit this policy to certain teachers, such as career or technology education teachers and those with military experience. Such compensation would be attractive to career changers in other fields, such as science and mathematics.
Texas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
8C: Prior Work
Districts should be allowed to pay new teachers with relevant work experience more than other new teachers. State and district salary structures frequently fail to recognize that new teacher hires are not necessarily new to the workforce. Some new teachers bring with them deep work experience that is directly related to the subject matter they will teach. For example, the hiring of a new high school chemistry teacher with 20 years' experience as a chemical engineer would likely be a great boon to any district. Yet most salary structures would place this individual at the same point on the pay schedule as a new teacher straight out of college. Compensating these teachers commensurate with their experience is an important recruitment and retention strategy, particularly when other, non-teaching opportunities in these fields are likely to be more financially lucrative.
Specifics of teacher pay should largely be left to local decision making. However, states should use policy mechanisms to inform districts that it is not only permissible, but also necessary, to compensate new teachers with relevant prior work experience.