Pay for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructors can often be a source of confusion, but clear processes and communication to staff can alleviate some common headaches districts face.
According to the Department of Defense (DOD), JROTC instructors are entitled to be paid Minimum Instructor Pay (MIP). This amount is at least what would be received if on active duty (including allowances) less any retired or retainer pay currently received from the military. Because JROTC instructors are teachers, they are also subject to the minimum salary schedule.
With dual minimum requirements, market data is not as helpful for determining pay in this role since pay is highly based on years served and the role the individual held, which can vary significantly. Districts must pay at least the MIP unless the teacher salary on the minimum salary schedule for creditable years of experience is higher. Districts also can choose to pay according to the district’s teacher pay schedule, if higher than both the minimum salary schedule and MIP.
Districts can pay more than the minimum required and can negotiate other duties for pay (e.g., coaching). If paying a stipend to increase overall salary just for the JROTC role, districts could consider rolling this amount into pay, as it is pay for the individual to perform their core function.
JROTC instructors do not have to receive the same increases as teachers. Pay increases must be granted each year to comply with the MIP statements provided to the district by the military or to match the state minimum salary schedule for creditable years of experience.
Pay increases on the MIP statements may occur at different times than other employees in order to align with the timing of military salary adjustments. While the military pay increase typically is in January of each year, increases can occur in the fall for things like uniform allowances and longevity increases.
It is important that JROTC instructors understand how they are paid. Providing individualized communication to these employees regarding pay helps alleviate perceptions of unfairness, particularly where staff may feel raises should mirror those of teachers.
Patti Redding is an associate consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Patti an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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