May 26, 2011

National Board bonuses preserved (mostly)

One of the bigger surprises of the 2011 legislative session, at least from this board-certified teacher's perspective, is that the bonuses for NBCTs came out relatively unscathed. A little accounting trickery, plus a reduction for first-year certificate-holders, saved roughly $61 million. The rundown:
Two changes are made to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) bonus program. Beginning in the 2011-12 school year, The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction must pay bonuses on July 1 of each school year, achieving a one-time savings in fiscal year 2012. Additionally, first year national board bonuses will be prorated by a factor of 60 percent (a 40 percent reduction), to reflect the percentage of the school year newly NBPTS-certified teachers are certified. The proration produces a first year base bonus amount of $3,054, and a first year high poverty school bonus of $3,000. With the exception of the first year proration, the $5090 base bonus and $5000 high poverty school bonus are fully funded in the 2011-13 biennium.
I heard from several sources that NBCTs were some of the most persistent, consistent, and articulate gadflies at town hall meetings--which squares with my experience with a local NBCT advocacy group-- and apparently we got results.

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