It’s more than just dollars: Problematizing salary as the sole mechanism for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural Alaska
Staffing rural Alaska schools with a stable workforce of qualified teachers has been perennially challenging, and the failure to do so harms student achievement. In the spring of 2014, the Alaska Department of Administration contracted with the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research to produce a uniform salary schedule and community cost differentials with the objective of attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers to Alaskan communities. In this paper, we summarize the findings of that study, including opportunities for significant teacher salary increases. However, we discuss the role of salary in teachers’ decisions to stay or leave rural communities, noting that other working conditions are stronger predictors of teacher attrition. We argue that salaries alone will not ensure a stable and qualified teacher workforce, instead positing that efforts to improve Alaska’s rural schools and teacher retention outcomes will require both adequate compensation and attention to the working conditions.
DeFeo, D.J., Hirshberg, D., & Hill, L. (2018). It’s more than just dollars: Problematizing salary as the sole mechanism for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural Alaska. Alaska Native Studies Journal 4(1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/6709