For Immediate Release: December 21, 2011
Bass seeks AG opinion on National Board Certification incentive program
On Wednesday, Sen. Randy Bass requested an Attorney General opinion on the state’s National Board Certification Incentive program, which provides an annual $5,000 bonus to those teachers who are Nationally Board Certified. After the State School Board defunded the program this year, Bass wants clarification as to whether funding for the program in mandatory under state law or lies at the discretion of the State School Board.
“Reading our statutes, I, and many others around the state, believe that funding this program is mandatory and that those who become Nationally Board Certified are guaranteed their bonuses. However, the State Board is interpreting the law differently,” said Bass, D-Lawton. “This is an incredible program that provides financial incentives to our state’s best and brightest teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty. This is an issue that needs to be straightened out before the Legislature starts work on next year’s budget.”
Bass believes an opinion is needed to clear up confusion among educators about the benefits of attaining the certification.
“These educators have the right to know whether
there will be financial incentives available before they start the program.
Getting Nationally Board Certified is no easy task and without the financial
incentives many teachers may decide it’s not worth their time
or energy,” said Bass. “We need to encourage our teachers
in every way to continue improving their knowledge and skills because
their work directly impacts the futures of Oklahoma’s youth.”