81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas


WHEREAS, approximately, half of new teachers leave urban classrooms within three years, just as they are beginning to hone their craft; and

WHEREAS, most school districts are unable to design compensation packages that allow them to compete with other professions, and traditional teacher pay scales discourage the best teachers from entering and remaining in the educator workforce; and

WHEREAS, current teacher pay scales do not differentiate pay based on effectiveness and only offer incremental salary increases over a 30-year period; contrastingly, doctors and lawyers can reach their full earning potential within 10 years of entering their profession; and

WHEREAS, salary increases awarded in traditional teacher pay scales are based on attainment of degrees and years of service, neither of which are strongly correlated to effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, creating alignment between how teachers perform in the classroom and how they are paid will ensure that the most effective teachers are acknowledged and retained, reinforcing what matters most – student learning; and

WHEREAS, ensuring that school districts have performance-based salary policies greatly enhances the probability that every student in America is taught by a highly effective teacher; and

WHEREAS, the overwhelming body of research now demonstrates that the single most important school based factor for a child’s academic success is the effectiveness of their teacher,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports reforming established teacher pay structures to ensure teachers are recognized for their tremendous impact on students; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the following policy priorities as a means of advancing the teaching profession in each state:

    ·         Require all school districts to establish differentiated, performance-based compensation systems as a means of attracting talented individuals to teaching and retaining their most effective teachers; and

    ·         Ensure that teacher pay is competitive and that all pay increases are based on performance rather than the attainment of advanced degrees and years of service; and

    ·         Ensure that school districts create teacher pay systems that are tied to robust evaluation systems that significantly weigh student academic growth and include multiple other measures to assess teachers’ performance; and

    ·         Ensure school districts create teacher pay systems that incorporate additional pay increases for effective teachers who are employed in hard-to-staff subjects and/or the lowest performing schools; and

    ·         Encourage collaboration between cities and school districts when these performance-based compensation systems are developed.