The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Shortage-subject areas: West Virginia supports differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects. Beginning in 2019, teachers who teach math and special education are considered to have three additional years of experience for the purposes of the state's salary schedule. The state also explicitly allows districts to provide "additional compensation or other financial assistance" to teachers who teach in subjects for which the district has a critical need and shortage of fully certified teachers.
West Virginia also offers a loan repayment assistance program to teachers who agree to teach a subject area of critical need or in a school or geographic area identified as an area of critical need. Each teacher is eligible to receive up to $3,000 annually, for a maximum of five years, for a total available award amount of $15,000. The state also offers tuition reimbursement for teaching in shortage-subject areas.
High-need schools: West Virginia provides a teacher-mentoring increment of $2,000 for classroom teachers with National Board certification who teach and mentor at persistently low-performing schools. Districts are permitted to use other available funds, federal and local, to provide incentives for highly qualified teachers to teach at low-performing schools.
West Virginia also explicitly allows districts to provide "additional compensation or other financial assistance" to teachers who teach in schools that are in remote geographical locations or have experienced high rates of turnover in experienced teachers. The state also offers tuition reimbursement for teaching in high-need schools.
West Virginia Code 18A-4-1; 18A-4-2; 18A-4-2c; 18A-3-3a; 18A-4-5a: 18C-4A-1 through 4A-2 Policy 5202 http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/
As a result of West Virginia's strong high-need schools and subjects policies, no recommendations are provided.
West Virginia was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for 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.