Indirect Compensation for Teachers

Cortney Rowland

It is hard not to notice the persistent and often controversial discussions taking place in states and cities across the country around how to pay teachers—who should get what for how much and when. A multitude of ideas, programs, and reform strategies around teacher compensation are being developed and tried around the country. However, one aspect of compensation is consistently missing from the conversation—indirect compensation, or benefits provided to employees that do not directly affect salary or take-home pay.

This issue brief begins with an overview of the total compensation package typical for teachers as well as a variety of definitions of indirect compensation. Following that is a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of offering indirect compensation as well as strategies for implementation, both taken from noneducation-based literature. The brief then provides several examples of indirect compensation efforts that occurred in education in the early 2000s. Last, there is a short conclusion pertaining to the use of indirect compensation for teachers.