High-Need Schools and Subjects: South Dakota

2017 Teacher Compensation Policy

Goal

The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage and high-need areas. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.

Meets a small part

Analysis of South Dakota's policies

Shortage-subject Areas: South Dakota offers the Dakota Corps Scholarship Program, which provides full tuition and reimbursement for generally applicable fees to selected qualified applicants who promise to enter a "critical need occupation." The required number of years to work is equal to the number of years of scholarship received, plus one year. For the 2017-2018 school year, the state has defined the following occupations as critical need: high school math teacher, high school science teacher, and elementary/secondary special education teacher.

High-need Schools: South Dakota does not support differential pay by which a teacher can earn additional compensation by teaching at high-need schools. 

South Dakota offers a salary incentive for teachers who earn National Board Certification. Teachers are eligible to receive a stipend of $2,000 a year for five years. However, this type of differential pay is not tied to teaching at high-need schools. 

Citation

Recommendations for South Dakota

Support differential pay initiatives for effective teachers in high-need schools.
South Dakota should encourage districts to link compensation to district needs. Such policies can help districts achieve a more equitable distribution of teachers.

Expand differential pay initiatives for teachers in shortage-subject areas.
Although the state's program is a desirable recruitment and retention tool for teachers early in their careers, South Dakota 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.

Consider tying National Board supplements to teaching in high-need schools.
This differential pay could be an incentive to attract some of South Dakota's most accomplished teachers to low-performing schools.

State response to our analysis

South Dakota declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.

Updated: December 2017

How we graded

8B: High-Need Schools and Subjects

  • Shortage-Subject Areas: The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in shortage-subject areas.
  • High-Need Schools: The state should support differential pay for effective teaching in high-need schools.
Shortage-Subject Areas
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it explicitly supports differential pay in subject areas where there is a demonstrated educator shortage.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it partially supports differential benefits in subject areas where there is a demonstrated educator shortage (e.g., tuition reimbursement).
High-Need Schools
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it explicitly supports differential pay for teachers in high-need schools.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it partially supports differential benefits for teachers in high-need schools (e.g., tuition reimbursement).



Research rationale

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.[1] 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.[2] Short of providing direct support, states can also use policy levers to indicate to districts that differential pay is not only permissible but necessary.


[1] For research that suggests high performing teachers tend to transfer to schools with a large proportion of other high performing teachers and students, while low performing teachers cluster in bottom quartile schools, see: Feng, L., & Sass, T. R. (2016). Teacher quality and teacher mobility. Education Finance and Policy. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/1001506-teacher-quality-teacher-mobility.pdf; Another study found that the least effective teachers in high-poverty schools were considerably less effective than the least effective teachers in low-poverty schools. See: Sass, T. R., Hannaway, J., Xu, Z., Figlio, D. N., & Feng, L. (2012). Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower poverty schools. Journal of Urban Economics, 72(2), 104-122. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1001469-calder-working-paper-52.pdf
[2] Clotfelter, C., Glennie, E., Ladd, H., & Vigdor, J. (2008). Would higher salaries keep teachers in high-poverty schools? Evidence from a policy intervention in North Carolina. Journal of Public Economics, 92(5), 1352-1370. Retrieved from
Would Higher Salaries Keep Teachers in High-Poverty Schools? Evidence from a Policy Intervention in North Carolina; Kowal, J., Hassel, B. C., & Hassel, E. A. (2008). Financial incentives for hard-to-staff positions. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2008/11/pdf/hard_to_staff.pdf; A study by researchers at RAND found that higher pay lowered attrition, and the effect was stronger in high-needs school districts. Every $1,000 increase was estimated to decrease attrition by more than 6 percent. See: Kirby, S. N., Berends, M., & Naftel, S. (1999). Supply and demand of minority teachers in Texas: Problems and prospects. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(1), 47-66.