Teachers boost salaries with strategic compensation programs
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
  • Uplift Education

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
  • Hard-to-staff subjects

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. ?