Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

National board certification now less lucrative for Florida teachers

A lot of teachers in Florida won't get raises this year. But the ones many consider to be the best will be hit even harder.

More than 8,000 teachers in Florida receive lucrative bonuses because they have national board certification — a distinction often called the gold standard for good teaching.

But under a new law Gov. Charlie Crist signed Tuesday, those bonuses will only last for 10 years and they will no longer be used to calculate retirement benefits. The same law also eliminates a related bonus those teachers could earn for mentoring other teachers.

"Do you value us or do you not value us?" said Sherrie Lee, a board certified teacher at Mount Vernon Elementary School in St. Petersburg who was getting both bonuses. She said she would continue to mentor teachers at her school, but asked, "What industry asks its employees to do consulting work for free?"

In a letter to Secretary of State Kurt Browning, Crist said the changes to the program were "disappointing" and referred to one particular change — reclassifying the award as a "bonus" for retirement calculations — as "a grave disservice."

For teachers seeking board certification, the new law also nixes a subsidy that paid 90 percent of their $2,500 application fee.

Legislators said the changes were necessary given a bleak budget that resulted in $332-million in cuts to education. Crist said he would work with the Legislature next year to undo them.

Overseen by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, board certification typically requires teachers to spend up to a year improving their skills through self-analysis, videotaping and portfolio building. The process is often described as grueling.

Florida has put a premium on those who pass. Since 1998, it has awarded board certified teachers bonuses worth about 10 percent of an average teacher's salary, or $4,270 last year. The teachers earn another 10 percent for mentoring.

The cuts to the program come just as the latest research on board certified teachers was released Wednesday.

Mandated by Congress, the National Research Council study looked in particular at board certified teachers in Florida and North Carolina. The conclusion: They do get bigger learning gains out of their students, even if it's not clear if it's the certification process that makes them better.

Ron Matus can be reached at or (727) 893-8873.

National board certification now less lucrative for Florida teachers 06/11/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2008 1:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.