This morning the House and Senate released their operating budget agreement. Overall, it is good news for National Board Certification.
In spite of the profound and lingering economic crisis, the legislature has largely maintained its commitment to National Board Certification. Specifically, the budget agreement proposes to:
Maintain the base bonus at $5,090 each year (with the inflationary adjustment frozen) and the challenging schools bonus at $5,000 each year;
Bump the National Board bonus/pay incentive payment to July following the given school year;
Pro-rate the first year bonus/pay incentives for newly-certified NBCTs (starting with those certifying in late 2011) which will result in a 40% reduction of the base bonus to $3,054 and challenging schools bonus to $3,000. This will only apply to the first year a teacher certifies. Thereafter, pay incentives/bonuses will revert back to $5,090 for base and $5,000 for challenging schools.
You can read more about the budget agreement here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2011/05/24/2015134608.pdf
As you will see, there are many, many profound cuts to K-12 public education and other areas. The fact the legislature has largely maintained its commitment to National Board Certification is a testament to the credibility of the process and the great influence NBCTs had in their advocacy this legislative session. You might consider extending a 'thank you' email or note to your legislators for maintaining the state's investment National Board Certification in tough economic times.
Next, the House and Senate will finalize budget bills as the special session wraps up in the next 36 hours. Assuming the budget agreement is finalized in this process, Governor Gregoire will ultimately act on it.
There are many educators who have been awaiting this information as they determine their decisions around National Board Certification. We'd appreciate your assistance in sharing information with interested candidates about the Washington State Conditional Loan program http://www.k12.wa.us/Certification/nbpts/Candidacy/default.aspx and WEA's 4-day National Board Jump Start Seminars for new candidates http://www.washingtonea.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1044&Itemid=101
It has been a long, exhausting legislative session. Thank you for all you have done to influence the outcome. We'll be in touch with more details as they unfold.