Make us your home page
Instagram

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 matus@sptimes.com 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

Loading...
  1. Review: Nick White's 'How to Survive a Summer' takes on homophobia at its worst

    Books

    Will Dillard's summer camp experience is a real horror movie.

  2. Senate leaders unveil bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act

    Health

    The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, who have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to cut Medicaid deeply and end the health law's mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

    U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill's chief author, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said "Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief." [AP]
  3. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  4. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blogs

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.