Note: Please refer to the Fiscal Issues Relating to Budget Reductions and Flexibility Provisions guidance letter for information on provisions that apply to all programs. The letter covers such matters as the public hearing requirement, base year funding provisions, and how funding reductions will be calculated.
- Are both the National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) Incentive Program and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Candidate Subsidy Program funded by the State of California?
No. The NBPTS Candidate Subsidy Program is federally funded and not subject to the flexibility provisions of the state budget. The NBCT Incentive Program is state funded and subject to the flexibility provisions of the recently passed state budget. The following questions apply only to the NBCT Incentive Program.
- Are local educational agencies (LEAs) required to distribute the NBCT Incentive Program funds directly to teachers or can they flexibly spend the funds as they choose?
The NBCT Incentive Program is included in the list of flexible programs under Education Code Section 42605. For programs listed in this section, LEAs may utilize all of their program funds to provide services for the program or they may use all or part of their funds for other educational purposes and/or other categorical programs. However, one portion of the NBCT funding is specifically excluded from flexibility: “…monies that are required to fund awards for teachers that have previously met the requirements necessary to obtain these awards, until the award is paid in full.” This provision requires LEAs to continue distributing funds to teachers who were in the Incentive Program prior to April 2009 until the teacher has received his or her full award. Funds that are not needed for this purpose are flexible.
- How will Incentive Program funds be distributed in 2008-09 through 2012-13?
Each LEA that has eligible teachers in April 2009 will receive Incentive Program funding for these teachers on a per teacher amount based on available funds. Fiscal year 2008-09 funding is insufficient to fund each teacher at $5,000. For 2009-10 through 2012-13, districts will receive the same proportion of the overall appropriation that they received in 2008-09. No additional funds will be provided to LEAs for any NBCTs added after this time.
- Will teachers who become national board certified after 2009 be eligible to receive Incentive Program funding?
The Budget Act of 2009 (SBX3 1) states “The State Department of Education shall not approve new applications from, or new award incentive grants to, teacher participants not already approved in the 2008-09 or prior grant application processes.” However, as noted in question #2, an LEA has flexibility to decide to fund newly eligible teachers using its NBCT Incentive Program funding or other funds. LEAs may utilize all of their NBCT Incentive Program funds to provide services for the program or they may use all or part of their funds for other educational purposes and/or other categorical programs.