Teacher Compensation: Your First Year

Denver Public Schools’ vision is to ensure that Every Child Succeeds. It’s a vision that can not happen without you or your success. That is why we built our compensation system to help you achieve that success both professionally and personally.

Comprised of our Teacher Leadership & Collaboration model (TLC), Highest-priority Incentive program, and performance-based compensation system ProComp, the teacher compensation system supports teachers by recognizing your efforts through incentives that increase your base salary and ways to earn additional compensation through further incentive opportunities. Read on and then check our compensation calculator to discover what your first year of compensation at DPS could potentially be. For a printable version of this information, click here.

How Your Compensation is Determined

Your pay at DPS is made up of three major components: your base salary, variable incentives for participating in a variety of opportunities, and incentives that lead to salary increases earned through educational achievements and performance evaluations. As a result, teachers at DPS on average earn one of the highest salaries in the Denver metro area.

1. Setting Your Initial Salary

You have a wealth of experience and education to bring to DPS students, and we recognize that with great starting pay for new teachers. We take into consideration your experience obtained in the last 15 years and your current degrees and credits earned at a qualified four-year university when determining your starting base salary. Check out the Salary Setting Chart below to see what your base salary will likely be when you start DPS.

DPS Salary Setting Chart for 2018-2019* (used for determining initial base salary only)

2. Earn Bonuses Through Incentives: Being Recognized for Your Achievements

In addition to a competitive starting salary, we offer you the opportunity to earn additional compensation by participating in school- and position-based incentive opportunities.

Because we are committed to serving the whole child, closing the education gap and giving you an opportunity for growth, many of our incentives are focused on bringing the best teachers and student support professionals (SSPs) to those students who face the most challenges to success. As a result, our Market-based and Student-growth incentives are tied to what school you teach at and the type of assignment that you take.

Market-based Incentives

At DPS, we offer teachers like you, a monthly incentive for working in a Hard-to-staff Assignment based on local and national data. Positions include everything from English language acquisition Spanish teachers to school psychologists.

2018-2019 amount: $228 per month for working in a Hard-to-staff role ($2,738 for the year).

Like the Hard-to-Staff Assignments, DPS offers a monthly incentive for working in a Hard-to-Serve school.

2018-2019 amount: $228 per month for working in a Hard-to-Serve school ($2,738 for the year).

The Highest-priorities Incentives program provides teachers and SSPs working in one of our 30 Highest-priority schools an opportunity to earn additional pay for helping where you are needed most and for returning to help kids succeed.


Highest-priority Monthly Incentive:  Up to $1,500 per year for new-to-DPS teachers or $3,000 per year for current teachers.

Highest-priority Retention Incentive: Up to $1,000 per year for teachers who return to a Highest-priority school.

Student Growth Incentives

DPS and DCTA are working to develop criteria for how this incentive will be earned. Further information will be shared in the fall of each payment year.


Great teachers are also great leaders. It is important to us that you are able to grow in your profession. At DPS you don’t have to leave the classroom to become a leader. We offer a yearly stipend to teachers who serve in formal teacher leadership roles through our Teacher Leadership and Collaboration program (TLC). Find out more about TLC, here.

Roles, with stipends, include the following: Senior Team Lead ($5,000); Team Lead ($3,000); Team Specialist ($1,500); Regional; Team Specialist ($1,500); and New Teacher Ambassador ($800)

3. Increasing Your Base Salary: Learning and Accomplishment

Growth is an important part of our careers. At Denver Public Schools, we recognize and encourage teachers accomplishments. Teachers have told us that education in their focus areas helps them to ensure every child succeeds at DPS. We offer salary advancement for teachers who strive to learn and find new ways to create a foundation of success for their students. Below are ways teachers can increase their base-salary through education and student growth.

Knowledge and Skills

Your dedication to ensuring Every Child Succeeds means you are constantly wanting to learn how you can improve the outcomes of your students. DPS encourages your efforts. Teachers who earn a new approved advanced degree, license or certificate receive a significant increase to their base salary.

2018-2019 compensation: A salary increase of $3,851.

At DPS you are encouraged to acquire new skills by completing three-to six-month educational projects. While there is no limit on the number that can be completed per year, only one PDU per year will be paid toward a salary increase or a bonus. However, PDUs can be banked for following years. Those earning a PDU will see a salary increase if you have 14 or fewer years of credited service. If you have more than 14 years of credited service than you will receive a one-time bonus.

2018-2019 compensation: A salary increase (14 years of service or less) or a bonus (15 years of service or more) of $855 annually.


Professional Evaluation helps DPS recognize your success and provides support for growth in your efforts to help Every Child Succeed. Working with your supervisors through the Leading Effective Academic Practice program (LEAP), you will discover your areas of strength and growth that lead to successful outcomes in your classroom and career. Successful teachers are recognized with a salary increase. See more information on the LEAP site.

2018-2019 Compensation:

A salary increase of $855 annually for teachers who have 14 years of service or less.

A salary increase of $416 annually for teachers who have more than 14 years of service.

Additional Compensation

Knowledge and Skills

Keeping up to speed and honing your knowledge is important to you as you teach the next generation. It is just as important to us that, like your students, you are continuously learning. In addition to incentives and recognition for your work, we offer tuition and student loan reimbursement to help you take classes or pay down student loan debt.

Amount: Up to $1,000 per year and up to a $4,000 lifetime maximum.

Incentives and Rewards Chart

At DPS, we have crafted our compensation program around the vision of ensuring Every Child Succeeds. In doing so, through ProComp, we focus on four areas to center our incentives. In addition, as part of TLC, it has added a fifth area focused on leadership. For a comprehensive view of our compensation system and how it relates to your salary path, please see the chart below.

2018-19 Salary Calculator

What could my initial salary be at DPS?

Disclaimer: This salary calculator is intended as an estimate and guideline only and cannot be a guarantee for your final starting salary. This calculator assumes you are working full-time (1.0 FTE) in a full-year assignment. Salary will be pro-rated for positions less than a 1.0 FTE or which become effective after the start of the school year. If you secure a position with Denver Public Schools, your final salary will be determined through our salary setting process.

Base Salary:
ProComp Title I School Incentive:
Hard to Serve School Incentive:
Highest-Priority Incentive:
Hard to Staff Assignment Incentive:
Teacher Leadership Stipend:
Your Estimated Salary Plus Incentives: