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: Virginia's Middle School Teachers Corps provides incentives for experienced middle school math teachers to teach in schools designated as "at-risk in mathematics." In addition, each year the state releases the top 10 "critical shortage teaching areas." It uses this list to determine candidate eligibility for its scholarship loan program, which offers loan repayment for teachers in shortage-subject areas. Virginia also provides incentive awards to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers, with preference given to teachers assigned to hard-to-staff or low-performing schools.
High-need schools: Virginia encourages local school boards to offer teachers in hard-to-staff, low-income schools incentives such as "increased compensation, improved retirement benefits...increased deferred compensation...relocation expenses, bonuses and other incentives as may be determined by the board."
In addition, Virginia has established a Strategic Compensation Grant Initiative to award incentive payments to teachers. Local school divisions may submit proposals to apply for a competitive grant process. Proposals may include pay incentives to effective teachers with essential expertise who are willing to transfer to hard-to-staff positions or low-performing schools, or to reward effective teachers who are assigned to teach in critical shortages areas.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive an initial award of $5,000, with subsequent awards of $2,500. However, this type of differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools.
Virginia Code 22.1-199.1; 22.1-290.01; 22.1-318.2 Virginia Middle School Teachers Corps http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/career_resources/middle_teacher_corps/index.shtml National Board Certification Incentive Awards http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/career_resources/national_board_cert/ STEM Teacher Recruitment and Retention Incentive Awards http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2014/211-14.shtml
Consider tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of Virginia's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.
Virginia 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.