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Teacher Compensation

Teacher compensation is a key component of the employee value proposition and can influence teachers’ decision to stay or leave their current school. This Insight survey domain explores teachers’ satisfaction with their compensation, including their perceptions of the fairness and competitiveness of their compensation.


Based on our extensive experience, TNTP recommends the following as evidence-based practices for this domain:

  • Engage stakeholders – including families, teachers, leaders, and district personnel – before, during, and after making changes to your compensation system.
  • Based on input from stakeholders and trends in talent data, clearly articulate objectives, or what you hope to achieve by updating your compensation system, and guiding design principles that reflect your values. Ground all decision-making in these objectives and guiding principles.
  • Consider how changes to your compensation system will affect teacher pay for groups of teachers, and particularly teachers of color.
  • Model the cost of changes to your compensation system and ensure there’s a plan in place for sustaining changes long term.
  • Keep in mind that compensation is an important part of valuing and retaining employees, but no reasonable amount of money can overcome a dysfunctional school culture or severely challenging working conditions.


Resource Description
Shortchanged: The Hidden Costs of Lockstep Teacher Pay A report from TNTP on how lockstep teacher pay can undermine student learning, with examples of innovative compensation models that lead to better outcomes for both students and teachers
How Newark is Paying Great Teachers What They’re Worth An interview with the former superintendent of Newark Public Schools about how she reimagined the ways teachers were evaluated and paid in order to attract and keep great teachers in schools that need them most
Education Resource Strategies: Compensation Tools & Publications A collection of tools, case studies, and reporting on trends, innovations, and approaches to teacher compensation

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