Available studies provide evidence that salary increases and financial incentives can play significant roles in teacher recruitment and retention, according to a research review published by the Education Commission of the States.
However, the ECS notes, the impact of compensation changes can depend greatly on the local economic context, as well as on the teacher’s gender, level of experience, and job satisfaction.
The ECS reviewed 91 studies on teacher recruitment and retention to determine effective practices.
In the area of compensation, the group also found evidence that the relative difference between salary levels in neighboring districts is more important to teachers than absolute salary or even the salary differences in their own district.
Teachers tend to see the job market as “local and confined to surrounding districts, so the compensation picture in all neighboring districts is what becomes all important,” the report notes.
The ECS also points out that some studies provide evidence that, in certain cases, working conditions may ultimately be more important to teachers than compensation. In particular, the group points to the potential effectiveness of giving teachers strong administrative support and “adequate autonomy” in their work, as well as diversity training.