Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: The Impact of Incentives to Recruit and Retain Teachers in “Hard-to-Staff” Subjects

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 8:30 AM
Flamingo (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Li Feng, Texas State University and Tim Sass, Georgia State University
We investigate the effects of a statewide program designed to increase the supply of teachers in “hard-to-staff” areas. The Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program (FCTSP) provided loan forgiveness to teachers who were certified and taught in designated shortage areas and compensated teachers for the tuition cost of taking courses to become certified in a designated shortage area. Employing a difference-in-difference estimator we find that the loan forgiveness program decreased attrition of teachers in shortage areas, though the effects varied by subject. The effects were also more pronounced when loan forgiveness payments were more generous. A panel probit analysis reveals that the tuition reimbursement program had modest positive effects on the likelihood a teacher would become certified in a designated shortage area.  We also present qualitative evidence that loan forgiveness recipients were of lower quality (as measured by value added) than non-recipients. We find no quality differences between tuition reimbursement recipients and non-recipients or between FCTSP participants who stayed in teaching and those who exited the public school system