Pay for Performance
Most teachers in Colorado and across the nation are paid according to a single salary schedule that increases earnings based strictly on years of tenure and advanced course credits and degrees. Typically, support staff, principals, and other administrators are primarily paid according to seniority and education credentials, as well.

Meanwhile, with Denver’s ProComp leading the way, a number of school districts and charter schools have made Colorado a national leader in local performance-based pay innovations. The focus is gradually changing toward rewarding teachers and school leaders based more on outputs and less on inputs.

Even where the political will for reform exists today, the challenge often rests in designing and implementing effective performance pay systems that are effective, equitable, transparent, sustainably funded and tailored to local needs and conditions. Still, improved technology and a large body of research highlighting the paramount importance of teacher quality makes the task more achievable now than ever before.

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Pension Reform
Another important piece of education employee compensation relates to the structure and sustainability of pension plans. All Colorado K-12 public employees are members of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) as of January 2010, once PERA’s merger with the Denver Public Schools Retirement System (DPSRS) was completed.

Education Policy Center Resources:

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