Recruiting New Teachers to Urban School Districts: What Incentives Will Work

August 2008

Often the districts most in need of quality teachers have the greatest difficulty attracting and retaining them. In response, states and districts are experimenting with financial incentives to attract and retain high quality teachers in high-needs, low-achieving or hard-to-staff urban schools. Such financial incentives include signing bonuses, pay supplements ("combat pay"), loan forgiveness, tuition subsidies, and housing assistance. Relatively little is known, however, about how effective financial incentives are likely to be in attracting and retaining teachers in high-needs urban schools.

This study explores the value teachers place on financial incentives and how much of a salary incentive is needed to attract new teachers to high-needs schools.

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