WILL A DRAFT LOTTERY AND A RESERVE CLAUSE BE NEXT? There are all sorts of advantages to teaching in a more prosperous school district, including more motivated students, more support from the parents, and better pay. Under those circumstances, the poorer school districts have trouble retaining teachers.

Seventeen states are responding to the challenge by offering bonuses, scholarships and other incentives to prospective teachers who sign up for "hard-to-staff" schools, according to the Denver-based Education Commission of the States. For example, New York City is offering up to $15,000 in housing support to attract teachers of math, science or special education.

Nevada tries a different tack, giving principals at high-poverty schools first crack at new teachers. Instructors who refuse an assignment can be removed from the hiring list for a year.

Lottery schools. What a concept.

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