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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bonuses shrinking fast for national board certified teachers in Florida

26

April

The bonuses for national board certified teachers in Florida will be a good bit smaller (by more than half) this year, and may be gone completely next year, according to the following Monday email from an official at the Florida Department of Education. (Hat/tip to the Tampa Bay area teacher who forwarded it on to us) ...

The certification bonus to be distributed at this time for the 2010-2011 school year will be $1,826.92.  This figure represents a bonus amount equal to 3.91% of the previous year’s state-wide teacher’s salary.  In addition to this amount, 7.65%, or $139.76, will be disbursed for the district’s share of FICA.  The total amount that will be disbursed at this time for each qualified NBCT is $1,966.68.  The district shall determine the individual withholding for each NBCT, make the appropriate deductions, and pay the remaining bonus to each teacher.

The official notification memo from Chancellor Haithcock to District Superintendents and Finance Officers will be forthcoming via the Department’s Paperless System.  I will forward that link to you, once I have it. The documentation to facilitate the electronic transfer of funds from DOE to the districts has been provided to our budget office and from there will be go to the DOE Comptroller’s Office who will actually perform the electronic transfer of funds to the districts in the next few days.

No doubt, you and I both, will receive countless inquiries as to how the amount of the bonus is determined.  Please remind your stakeholders that it is a prorated amount based on the budget allocation divided by the total number of NBCTs statewide that are eligible to receive the bonus. Though the statute says the bonus is to be 10% of the previous years’ average annual teaching salary, it contains a provision to pro-rate that amount based on the budget allocation.  Last year was the first that the amount was pro-rated (8.14%) but this year it is much less (3.91%) simply due to the decreased budget allocation provided by the state legislature.

Another burning question on the minds of most stakeholders will likely be, “What about the upcoming year?” The preliminary unofficial information I have heard is that the Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program is currently NOT slated to be in the legislative budget that is currently being developed; however, we won’t know for sure until the legislature has completed the session for this year.  Please, please, please let them know that if they wish to voice opinions regarding the legislative action, they must contact their elected officials.

Again, I appreciate your assistance and patience as we have completed the bonus process. Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Thanks,
 
Crystal Spikes
Director, Excellent Teaching Program
Department of Education

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:13am]

    

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