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NBPTS Candidate Subsidy Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Candidate Subsidy Program.
Who qualifies for the $2,500 candidate subsidy award?

Any teacher who initiates the process of pursuing a certification from the NBPTS when teaching at a high-priority school is eligible to receive a Candidate Subsidy Program award of $2,500. Teachers who are employed by a California public school district or charter school and who are assigned to teach at least 50 percent time in a high-priority school are eligible for $2,500 subsidy. Districts must verify, each year, that teachers have met the percentage requirement before funds can be released to NBPTS.

What is the application process for the candidate subsidy award?

Applicants must apply for the subsidy with the California (CA) Department of Education (CDE). The subsidy application is open from September 1, 2022, through January 3, 2023. When CDE receives an application, we verify with the local educational agency (LEA) of the teaching assignment of the applicant. Once the application is approved, CDE will notify the applicant of their approval and prepare to send payment of the subsidy to NBPTS. Applications will be approved throughout the September through January application process.

How is the subsidy award distributed?

The subsidy payments will be sent directly to NBPTS on behalf of the candidates to cover the cost of components. Subsidy awards will be reflected in the recipients’ individual accounts with NBPTS.

What defines a high-priority school?

California Assembly Bill 130 defines high-priority schools as those with 55 percent or more of its unduplicated pupils classified as an English learner, or foster youth, or eligible for a free or reduced-price meal. To determine if you are eligible for the incentive, please check Eligible High Priority Schools List (XLSX).

I am a teacher on special assignment, am I still eligible for this subsidy?

California Assembly Bill 130 states that in addition to classroom teachers, other eligible educators may include, but is not limited to educators in 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.

I am employed by a state special school, am I still eligible for this incentive?

California Assembly Bill 130 defines eligible entities as school districts, county boards of education, county superintendent of schools, state operated programs, including special schools, regional occupational centers or programs operated by a joint powers authority or a county office of education, or education programs providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades one through twelve, inclusive, that is offered by a state agency, including the Department of Youth and Community Restoration and the State Department of Developmental Services.

If I teach in a high-priority school that falls below 55 percent of unduplicated pupils while I am completing certification will I still qualify for the subsidy?

Yes, to qualify for the $2,500 award, a teacher must be assigned to teach in a high-priority school in the first year of the award. If this same high-priority school changes so that it is no longer considered a high-priority school, the teacher will still receive the remainder of their subsidy until the $2,500 award runs out or they earn National Board certification. If the teacher moves to another school that is not a high-priority school, he or she will no longer qualify for the remaining balance of the $2,500 subsidy award.

Am I still eligible for the subsidy if I move to another high-priority school either in my own district or in a new district?

Yes, NBPTS candidates may continue to use the subsidy if they are teaching in any high-priority public school in California until the $2,500 award runs out or they earn certification.

How long does a recipient have to use the $2,500 subsidy award?

NBPTS Candidate Subsidy Awards recipients must register and complete at least one component with NBPTS in the 2022–23 certification cycle. If a component is not completed in the cycle, the award is automatically forfeited. The subsidy award may be used throughout the candidate’s certification timeline of eligibility required by NBPTS. In most cases candidates have three years to submit all four components, and an additional two years for any component re-takes.

What happens to the funds if I do not use the full $2,500 subsidy award?

The cost of the four components for the NBPTS initial submissions is $1,900. There is an additional $600 available for each recipient that can be used towards any re-takes. If there is a remaining balance after you are board certified the money is held and applies to future California subsidy award candidates.

If I choose to withdraw from the assessment process, what do I need to do?

If you choose to withdraw from the assessment process, you must notify the NBPTS, in writing, prior to your portfolio due date and your assessment center appointment. Detailed information on the withdrawing process can be found in your NBPTS Guide to National Board Certification External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF). If you applied for the Candidate Subsidy Program, you must also notify the California Department of Education in writing by emailing

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 01, 2022