Skip to main content
Supporting Professional Learning: Impacts of the PLBSS in Portland Public Schools
  • Sharon F. Rallis
In 2006 the Portland (Maine) Public Schools (PPS) and the Portland Education Association (PEA) negotiated an alternative teacher salary system that took effect in the 2007-2008 school year. The Professional Learning-Based Salary System (PLBSS) awards teachers and other union staff credit (Salary Contact Hours or SCH) toward salary increases for various forms of professional learning, including college courses, continuing education units, district workshops, and individual self-directed professional learning or service activities. Teaching experience still is a factor in salary increases under the PLBSS but to a lesser extent than in a traditional salary schedule. This alternative salary schedule has received national attention and interest as an intriguing “middle ground,” offering the potential to support teacher development and professionalism without going so far as to tie teacher salaries directly to student test results.

This study focuses on what the PLBSS has done for teachers as professionals in key areas of potential impact: salary and staffing, professional learning, teacher practice, student learning, and staff satisfaction. Suggestions for improvement are also included.
Publication Date
Summer July 1, 2011
Citation Information
Sharon F. Rallis. "Supporting Professional Learning: Impacts of the PLBSS in Portland Public Schools" (2011)
Available at: