2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy
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: Arkansas supports differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching certain subjects, including science, math, or technology.
High-need Schools: Arkansas supports differential pay for teachers working in high-priority districts. New teachers can earn $5,000 for the first year of teaching, $4,000 for the second and third years of teaching, and $3,000 for the fourth and subsequent years.
Loan assistance is also provided to candidates willing to work in a geographic area of the state deemed a critical shortage area. For each year loan recipients teach in a critical shortage area, 20 percent of their loan will be forgiven. After five years, the entire loan will be forgiven.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are eligible to receive a $5,000 annual supplement. However, this differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools.
Arkansas Code 6-17-811; 6-17-2703 Incentives for Teacher Recruitment and Retention in High Priority Districts 4.01.5 http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/Legal/Legal-Current%20Rules/ade_278%20recruitment%20and%20retention%20-%20april%202012.pdf SB 27 (2017) Act 1803 of 2003
tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of Arkansas's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.
Arkansas had no comment on this goal.
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.