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Feb182013

NJ S1859

For several years now, NJ NBCT Jessica Hawk Ippolito has been communicating with Senator Jeff Van Drew about NJ Bill S1859, which would provide an annual stipend of $1,000 to all NJ NBCTs. The Bill was introduced in the Senate in May, 2012. 

Check this link periodically to see if there have been any changes to this bill. 

Jessica was kind enough to share the text of the letter she wrote to NJ senators. Feel free to use this as a basis for a letter of your own! 

Thank you, Jessica, for your dedication to this cause, and for sharing your letter!

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I am writing about bill S1859, which was introduced on May 3, 2012. This bill calls for an annual salary supplement for teachers earning National Board Certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. I am very interested in this legislation, since I am eagerly anticipating my NBPTS renewal process in 2013. I have been writing to Senator Jeff VanDrew about this issue for the past seven years and have appreciated his continued interest in this legislation.

According to the statistics from www.NBPTS.org, this legislation is desperately needed in the state of New Jersey.  During the 2010-11 school year, 6,266 teachers across the nation earned National Board Certification. Of that number, only 12 were from our state. The data for 2009-10 indicate that only 12 of the 8,651 newly Board Certified teachers were from New Jersey. As a National Board Certified teacher who has professionally benefited from certification, I know that number is far too low for a state of our size.

When teachers ask me about certification, I tell them, enthusiastically, about the benefits of the process and how it was the most useful professional development training of my career. However, from a practical standpoint, it has been tough to convince other teachers to pursue certification since they cannot justify taking hours and days away from their families without the hope of some kind of monetary compensation. A state-mandated stipend could be the justification they need.

 In his February 9th  letter to all Chief School Administrators, Christopher Cerf, the Acting Commissioner, stressed the importance of school performance and his commitment to school support. As outlined on page two, Cerf states, “The Department will also develop financial bonuses for Reward Schools as well as opportunities to share their best practices across the state.” The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is similarly dedicated to improving student achievement through teacher preparation. Research on National Board Certification has indicated attainment of that goal. Please visit www.nbpts.org and click “Research” for more information.

I am truly grateful for your interest in this issue and hopefully, when enacted, a bill will be the catalyst that encourages more of New Jersey’s teachers to achieve National Board Certification. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.   

 

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