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Monetary Incentives Attract Teachers To Low Income Districts

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A new study from Mathematica Policy Research reports that teachers who were offered incentives of $20,000 each have filled 90% of the vacancies in hard-to-staff schools in seven large and diverse school districts in Alabama, Arizona, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Those in this Teacher Transfer Initiative (TTI), on average, moved to classrooms with fewer white students, a higher percentage of Hispanic and low income students than were present in their former teaching situations.

A large pool of candidates was needed to secure an adequate number of successful transfers; those selected had an average of five years teaching experience and were more more-likely to have post-graduate degrees than teachers at low-performing schools.

With no requirements, TTI teachers spent 25 minutes weekly mentoring their colleagues, compared to less than one minute for non-TTI teachers.

Many districts are considering transfer incentives to gain more access to effective teachers, although currently there is scant knowledge of the impact.