Majority of States Work to Advance Leadership Opportunities for Classroom Teachers

A new analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality demonstrates that more states are recognizing the importance of leadership roles for teachers, signaling that state policy is beginning to reflect teachers’ voices. Thirty-five states now have formal teacher leadership policies, with a net of eight additional states adopting formal teacher leadership policies in the past two years. 

Even though the implementation of any teacher leadership policy happens at the school district level, policies at the state level can catalyze and legitimize teacher leadership opportunities, providing districts with the runway to implement meaningful teacher leader pathways and latitude to reallocate funding for such purposes. 

Among the 35 states that have formal policies on the books, 21 contain specific references to at least one of the two critical components of an effective teacher leadership framework: additional compensation or non-monetary incentives, such as a reduction in course load. Commendably, 12 of these 35 address both.  

The remaining 14 states’ policies appear to be more aspirational in nature, as they do not explicitly address the need to direct resources to additional compensation or non-monetary incentives.

States with a formal teacher leadership policy that recognizes the need for both additional compensation and non-monetary incentives (such as reduced course loads) include Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah. States with a formal teacher leadership policy that recognizes the need for either additional compensation or non-monetary incentives (such as reduced course loads) include the District of Columbia, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. States with a formal teacher leadership policy that does not recognize the need for additional compensation or non-monetary incentives include Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Finally, states with no formal teacher leadership policy as of 2019 include Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming.

See the full data and analyses of teacher leadership policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the NCTQ Databurst: Teacher Leadership Opportunities at: https://www.nctq.org/publications/NCTQ-Databurst:-Teacher-Leadership-Opportunities

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