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: Washington offers scholarships or loan repayments and gives priority to candidates seeking certification in math, science, technology, or special education. The state also offers scholarships to teachers seeking an endorsement in shortage subject areas.
High-need schools: Washington teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible up to an additional $5,000 annual bonus if they teach at a high-poverty school with students participating in the free or reduced-lunch program at 70 percent for elementary schools, 60 percent for middle schools and 50 percent for high schools.
Expand differential pay initiatives for teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Washington's loan forgiveness program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers; however, the state 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, not just early career teachers with education debt.
Washington declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
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.