Teaching at a high-poverty school is a tough job: Turnover tends to be high. A $10,000 federal tax credit could motivate teachers to stay at schools with the neediest students, argues the Center for American Progress.
Teachers in schools where 75 percent or more of students qualify for a subsidized lunch would get the full $10,000, under CAP’s proposal. Those in schools where more than half of students, but less than three-quarters, are poor would get a reduced credit.
The proposal would not be linked to students’ test scores, teacher evaluations or other performance measures.
About 57 percent of teachers would get a refundable tax credit, write Dick Startz and Kate Walsh on Brookings’ Chalkboard. The credit “would likely increase the available supply of teachers who want to work in high-poverty schools, achieving greater equity and improved education.”
While performance isn’t ostensibly a factor, we presume competition for these higher paying positions would allow principals in these schools to become a lot more selective about whom they hire, as well as reducing expensive teacher turnover and reliance on long-term substitutes or out-of-field teachers. (A North Carolina study by Charles Clotfelter and co-authors found that an $1,800 annual bonus lowered turnover rates by 17 percent.)
“A $10,000 tax credit is equivalent to just under a 20 percent raise for a teacher at the national average,” they note.