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: Virginia's Middle School Teachers Corps provides incentive payments of $5,000 per year for experienced math teachers to teach in middle schools where math is an area identified for improvement. In addition, the state has established the Virginia Teaching Scholarship Loan Program to provide financial support to those interested in pursuing a teaching career in one of the top five critical shortage teaching areas.
Virginia also offers an Alternative Teacher Compensation Grant opportunity for school districts to explore alternative teacher compensation approaches that "move away from tenure-based step increases toward compensation systems based on teacher performance and student progress." Priority is given to schools with high numbers of at-risk students needing qualified teachers in hard-to-staff subjects. In September 2020, the General Assembly appropriated $15,000 for planning grants in fiscal year 2021, each one not to exceed $5,000.
High-need schools: Virginia's Middle School Teachers Corps defines eligible schools as those having a combined overall proficiency and growth rate for mathematics at or below 77%.
Virginia's Alternative Teacher Compensation Grant opportunity gives priority to schools with high numbers of at-risk students needing qualified teachers in hard-to-staff subjects.
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 22.1-290.01; 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/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/15kp5LqF6Lj6Dr2jR7-YIeG1kggcaoSRR/view
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 was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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.