The state should encourage districts to provide compensation for related prior subject-area work experience. This goal remains unchanged in 2021.
Requirements: Washington does not have a formal policy to encourage its districts to provide compensation for related prior subject-area work experience.
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-121-264
policy to encourage districts to compensate all new teachers with
relevant prior work experience.
Washington should not limit this policy to career and technical education business and industry route teachers. Such compensation would be attractive to career changers in other fields, such as science and mathematics.
Washington recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. This analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
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.