Just like most of you, I was devastated when DCPS has cut the funding for the National Board certification a couple of years ago. The fiscal downturn meant the generous stipends that new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) used to enjoy were cut even in other states/ school districts.
During the contract negotiation, WTU President George Parker, who believes that accomplished teaching should be rewarded and that student achievement is in the heart of the National Board, vigilantly fought that the supports for National Board Certified Teachers still be continued. President George Parker and his team has successfully negotiated for it to be included and be reflected in the WTU-DCPS Contract. The language about the stipends for the National Board Certified Teachers was not reflected in the Tentative Agreement Highlights, but is stated in the TA (pdf copy) as:
"36.14 National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification
36.14.1 A teacher who is a certified classroom Teacher, who achieves National Board certification, shall receive a non-pensionable, one time bonus of $4,000.00, provided:
22.214.171.124 The Teacher's most recent evaluation is Effective or higher;
126.96.36.199 The teacher begins the National Board certification process (including initial payment) no later than the date of approval of this agreement by the Council of the District of Columbia; and
188.8.131.52 The Teacher is awared National Board certification no later than November 1, 2010.
36.14.2 The $4,000.00 bonus shall be paid within sixty (60) School Days following the completion of the National Board certification.
36.14.3 The teacher shall be required to work with DCPS for a minimum of three years after receiving the bonus unless terminated by DCPs.
36.14.4 In the event that the Teacher fails to meet the three-year commitment , s/he shall be obligated to return the compensation to DCPS on a prorated basis.
I believe that this contract, when ratified, will result in a vigorous school system that can provide teacher focused high quality services that will help us educators maximize our students' potential. We still have a long way to go, but I will not give up hope, we will work together. Colleagues, as teacher leaders, it is time for us to step up and be in the forefront of this education reform and lead the rest of our colleagues in DCPS. We need to let our voice be heard and let everyone know what matters most to our students that we, teachers, truly understand.
If you have any questions about this or about anything on the WTU-DCPS Tentative Agreement please attend the Informational Sessions on Tuesday and Thursday (schedules emailed by WTU Director of Communication, if you did not receive it please let me know), please proudly wear your pin.
Maria Angala, NBCT (Exceptional Needs Specialist)
WTU Vice President of Special Education