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: Washington allows districts to pay teachers an additional 10% for teaching in STEM subjects, bilingual instruction or special education. Washington offers scholarships or loan repayments and gives priority to candidates seeking certification in math, science, or technology. The state also offers numerous conditional scholarships to teachers seeking an endorsement in shortage subject areas. Scholarship recipients must agree to work in shortage areas for two years after receiving certification in order to have the scholarship/loans forgiven.
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.
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 250-65-110; 250-60-010 through 120; 392-140-973(3), -974 RCW 28A.400.200; 28B.102.130 https://wsac.wa.gov/teachers http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/current-educators/educator-retooling National Board Certified Teachers http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/nbpts/TeacherBonus.aspx
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 recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. However, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
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.