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NBCT Certification Incentive Program Information

Overview of the National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) Certification Incentive Program.

Commencing July 1, 2021, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification Incentive Program provides a $25,000 incentive award for California National Board-Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who teach in high-priority schools. This award is "granted to the extent that funds have been appropriated for this purpose in the annual Budget Act." This one-time incentive award of $25,000 is paid in $5,000 installments for five consecutive years. The annual payment shall be made upon completion of the school year, and upon approval of a district-certified application.

California Education Code (EC) Section 44395 External link opens in new window or tab. states "a teacher shall be assigned to teach for at least 50 percent of a full-time position." For purposes of this award, "assigned to teach" may include, but is not limited to, a teacher leadership role as a peer assistance and review coach, mentor, or other teacher support provider if the position does not require an administrative credential.

Interested in becoming a NBCT and looking for the candidate subsidy program? Please see the CA NBPTS Candidate Subsidy Program.

2024–25 NBPTS Certification Incentive Application

The 2024–25 NBPTS Certification Incentive Application opens November 4, 2024. This application is for new and current eligible NBCT’s teaching at a school on the Eligible High-Priority Schools List after January 1, 2025. This application will close on January 31, 2025, at 4 p.m.

Eligibility and Funding

Teachers with current National Board Certification by January 1, 2025, who teach at least 50 percent time in a high-priority school for five consecutive years are eligible for the $25,000 incentive award. High-priority schools are now defined as a school with 55 percent or more of its pupils (unduplicated) classified as an English learner or foster youth, or eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

2024–25 Eligible High Priority Schools List (XLSX)

2023–24 Eligible High Priority Schools (XLSX)

Lists of California’s 2023–24 and 2024–25 Eligible High Priority Schools. These lists are only used for the purpose of identifying schools with teachers eligible to receive the NBPTS Candidate Subsidy Award and the NBCT Certification Incentive Award. If you don't see your school on the high-priority lists but you believe it qualifies, please email

Upon completion of the application process, the California Department of Education (CDE) will confirm with local educational agencies (LEAs) applicant assignment working at least 50 percent in an eligible high-priority school. LEAs will confirm completion of teaching assignments of at least 50 percent in an eligible high-priority school each year of the five-year incentive program before payments are issued.

In addition, the CDE will verify with NBPTS that the applicant has an active certification that has not expired. Maintaining certification through the Maintenance of Certification Process prior to certification expiration date is imperative. It is also important to keep NBPTS updated on your current contact information and teaching assignment for verifying your certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information about the incentive program please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

2024–25 Application Timeline

Activity Date
2024–25 California NBCT Certification Incentive Award Application November 4, 2024
Application due January 31, 2025 by 4 p.m.
Confirmation of Teaching Assignments with LEAs February–March 2025
Confirmation of Certification with NBPTS February–March 2025
Incentive Award Notifications sent to Recipients May 2025
Grant Awards Notices Sent to LEAs May–June 2025
Awards Sent to LEAs Late Summer/Early Fall 2025

Note: Timeline is subject to change.

For additional information about the incentive program please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 14, 2024
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