What will the CAECC decide?
The Committee must submit a proposed alternative educator compensation system to the Governor and which must align with and clarify the details of the following parameters of SB 254:
- A career pathway with few and meaningful steps
- Leadership roles for educators to receive additional pay for leadership responsibilities
- Senior leadership roles for a small sub-set of educators who have demonstrated the highest levels of effectiveness and served in leadership roles
- Levels of base pay at all steps in the career pathway
- Levels of supplemental pay for leadership roles
- Applicability of the new system and opt-in mechanisms
History of this effort:
The past two decades have seen a handful of significant attempts to re-visit Delaware’s educator compensation system to ensure we are able to recruit, retain, and develop great educators and compete with the opportunities available to educators in neighboring school systems.
In 1998, Delaware Governor Tom Carper issued Executive Order #50, which created the Education Salary Improvement Committee (also referred to informally as the “Pika Commission”) to recommend a series of reforms to the existing state educator pay scale. The Committee ultimately issued eleven “principal recommendations” ranging from increasing starting teacher salaries to providing extra pay for extra responsibilities beyond core classroom duties. While many of these recommendations remain central components of the current state scale, a number of the recommendations were not sustained as a result of implementation and budgetary challenges.
In 2010, Delaware engaged in another major effort to revisit educator compensation and career pathways by proposing a series of state-wide reforms as part of its successful Race to the Top application. Strategy 2, “Recruit, retain, develop and support great teachers and leaders who can help all students meet high standards”, proposed a number of initiatives to reward and promote teacher and leader effectiveness including teacher leader roles centered on instructional leadership in schools and bonuses to attract and retain highly-effective teachers and leaders in high-need schools. While these Race to the Top initiatives did not seek to alter the existing state pay scale, they represented another significant state-level attempt, in conjunction with major education stakeholders throughout Delaware, to address Delaware’s competitiveness relative to neighboring school systems.
Recognizing this foundational work of the past two decades, Governor Markell urged the General Assembly in his 2013 State of the State Address to work with his administration to re-examine Delaware’s educator compensation system to better “incentivize teaching in high-need schools and critical subjects, raise starting teacher pay, and reward teacher leadership.”
The Delaware Department of Education subsequently partnered with the Markell Administration to conduct an exploratory process with a number of Delaware’s education stakeholders, which included an assessment of the current challenges and opportunities within Delaware’s public K-12 system, a survey of national and international school systems and current research to identify best practices, and to develop high-level cost estimates for potential adjustments to the existing state educator pay scale.
That process resulted in Senate Bill 254, which passed into law on July 1, 2014, and established the Committee to Advance Educator Compensation and Careers.