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Teachers boost salaries with strategic…
Performance, diversity and high-needs areas equal opportunity for educators
Aug. 27, 2018
Teachers boost salaries with strategic…
Performance, diversity and high-needs areas equal opportunity for educators
Aug. 27, 2018

You may have already heard that the average starting salary for teachers in the DFW region is $52,105, which is over $20,000 higher than what more than half of respondents to a McKinsey survey believed the starting teacher salary would be. But did you know that in some districts in the DFW region, there are teachers who earning more than $95,000?

This advance in teacher salaries stems from districts that are adopting strategic compensation models.

As opposed to traditional, tenure-based compensation, strategic compensation gives teachers the opportunity to advance much more quickly in their salary over the course of their careers.

Strategic compensation models come in varying forms. Some more common examples include pay-for-performance systems (teachers receive increased pay or bonuses according to their measured effectiveness) and market-based pay systems (teachers in high-needs schools or hard-to-staff subjects receive stipends).

Despite the many ways that strategic compensation models can be packaged, they all share one goal: to reward effective teachers. Although no compensation model is perfect, we applaud districts for recognizing and rewarding excellent teachers, as teachers are the most important contributing factor to student achievement.

Here, we break down a few different strategic compensation methods in the DFW area that reward great teachers!

Rewarding high-performance models

  • The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) in Dallas ISD defines, supports and rewards excellence. Under TEI, effective teachers have the opportunity to advance in salary much more quickly than they would under the traditional salary track. A highly-effective teacher in Dallas ISD has the potential to earn up to $90,000 a year.
  • Teacher compensation is directly tied to the impact that teachers have on their students, which is measured in three categories: teacher performance, student achievement and student experience. TEI offers continuous and comprehensive professional development support at every experience level to help teachers grow their abilities to positively impact students.
  • Dallas Independent School District

    • The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) in Dallas ISD defines, supports and rewards excellence. Under TEI, effective teachers have the opportunity to advance in salary much more quickly than they would under the traditional salary track. A highly-effective teacher in Dallas ISD has the potential to earn up to $90,000 a year.
    • Teacher compensation is directly tied to the impact that teachers have on their students, which is measured in three categories: teacher performance, student achievement and student experience. TEI offers continuous and comprehensive professional development support at every experience level to help teachers grow their abilities to positively impact students.

  • Uplift Education

    • Through Uplift Education’s Rewarding Excellence Compensation Program, teachers with exemplary performance are compensated with up to a 6 percent salary increase each year. These raises are determined by Uplift’s point system, wherein teachers receive points for attaining individual outcome- and action-based goals. With this compensation model, teachers are rewarded for their strong performance and growth in the profession and have the opportunity to substantially increase their pay. A few highly-effective teachers at Uplift are even earning over $96,000 a year! Because this compensation model does not impose a ceiling on performance pay raises, these teachers have the potential to keep advancing in salary over the course of their entire careers.
    • Because Uplift values teacher performance, they hire most of their new teachers out of teacher preparation programs that have strong clinical teaching and coaching models to prepare candidates for success with urban students: Teach for America, Urban Teachers, Relay and Harvard Teaching Fellows. However, Uplift considers new and experienced candidates from a variety of training programs.

Market-based pay models

If you want to make an impact on students coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, many districts will reward you for this effort.

For example, Garland, Fort Worth and Richardson ISDs offer a $10,000 stipend to their most effective teachers who are invited to teach at the district’s lowest-performing campuses through the school turnaround program, Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE).

  • High-need schools

    If you want to make an impact on students coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, many districts will reward you for this effort.

    For example, Garland, Fort Worth and Richardson ISDs offer a $10,000 stipend to their most effective teachers who are invited to teach at the district’s lowest-performing campuses through the school turnaround program, Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE).

  • Hard-to-staff subjects

    If you’re a bilingual or STEM-certified teacher, you’re in luck! Due to the shortage of teachers in certain subjects, many districts will offer additional stipends to teachers with certification in these areas.

    In the DFW area, districts offer annual stipends ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 for bilingual teachers, and annual stipends ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 for STEM teachers.

    The TeachDFW partner districts in Dallas County with listed stipends for STEM or bilingual teachers include Uplift, Dallas, Richardson, Garland, Irving, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Arlington and Fort Worth. Additionally, special Education teachers often receive a stipend due to shortages.

Compensation is understandably an important aspect of the teaching profession to consider as you embark on your career journey.

Because many of these compensation models reward effective teacher performance, it’s helpful to think about how to set yourself up for success in the profession. We’re here to help!

  • Not sure which teacher preparation program is best for you? Explore DFW programs with us. ?
  • Looking to talk to someone in the field? Sign up for Talk to a Teacher. ☎️
  • Want to learn more about the financial rewards of being a teacher? Head over to our Salary & Benefits page. ?