Michigan Establishes its First Incentive Fund for National Board-Certified Teachers with $5M in State Funding

Funding modeled after Teach For America Detroit fellowship, championed by State Senator Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

DETROIT, MI. July 20, 2023 – Michigan will begin paying teachers who currently hold National Board Certification and serve in high-need schools up to $10,000 through an incentive fund established in the Fiscal Year 2024 state school aid budget and signed by Governor Whitmer today. The fund also covers costs for those seeking National Board Certification. The incentive fund is a step toward Michigan becoming a top state for education talent.

“We know that the future of our state is dependent on the education our kids receive,” said Armen Hratchian, executive director, Teach For America Detroit. “And within our education systems, there’s simply nothing that matters more than the educator that’s in front of our kids. This initiative is a great step toward valuing our teachers and making Michigan the top state for teaching talent.” 

Michigan teachers who currently hold or obtain National Board Certification will receive $4,000. Of that, those who serve underprivileged students will receive an additional $6,000. Up to $1 million of the fund is allocated toward covering the certification fees for first-time candidates who serve students in low-income households. 

According to the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement, attrition among Nationally Board-Certified Teachers (NBCTs) is three times lower than other teachers. 

Teach For America (TFA) Detroit has supported NBCTs since 2019 when it launched its Fannie M. Richards Fellowship for educators receiving the high recognition–named in honor of Michigan’s first Black educator. The $5 million incentive fund is in large part thanks to the organization’s collaboration with State Senator Darrin Camilleri’s office and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

“This initiative is one component of many to ensure the retention and increase compensation of our educators,” said Darrin Camilleri, Michigan State Senator. “I am excited that the state will for the first time invest into the retention and expertise of our nationally-recognized educators and appreciate Teach For America for piloting this initiative in Detroit.”

National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education. It provides numerous benefits to teachers, students, and schools. According to education expert John Hattie and others, students of NBCTs demonstrate deeper learning nearly three times more than their peers. 

"With this important incentive, Michigan will continue to raise the bar of excellence for its teachers and students,” said Peggy Brookins, CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “In a time of turnover and shortages, Michigan’s investment will help students in under-resourced schools have access to a stable, expert teaching workforce. This funding will also increase the number of accomplished, National Board-Certified Teachers in Title I schools across the state."

In addition to the incentive fund, the state school aid budget includes $50 million to compensate teachers, administrators and counselors who mentor early-career educators, strengthening the career ladder for educators with broader leadership roles. The budget also invests an additional $63 million to raise teacher compensation statewide during the 2023-24 school year.

“This bill is a game changer for education in Michigan,” said Katherine O’Donnell, director of primary, Detroit Achievement Academy and inaugural Fannie M. Richards Fellow. “As a Nationally Board-Certified Teacher myself, this is extremely affirming because it shows that Michigan values teacher retention and development. The financial benefit attached to achieving certification will encourage more teachers to undergo the development process, resulting in more learning for students across the state.”

Since 2019, TFA Detroit has seen an over 95% retention rate among high-impact educators participating in its Detroit fellowship programs. TeachMichigan was established to scale TFA Detroit’s model statewide and was made possible through an unprecedented commitment by the State of Michigan.  In all, the State has committed $35 million of TFA Detroit’s $60 million strategy to retain, recruit and enrich high-impact teachers across the state.

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TeachMichigan is a state-funded, five-year initiative powered by Teach For America Detroit that invests in the next generation of high-impact educators who serve in under-resourced schools. To learn more, visit www.TeachMi.org 


Since 2010, TFA Detroit has recruited, trained, and supported more than 900 teachers in DPSCD and charter schools across the city.  To learn more, visit www.tfadetroit.org/  


Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunities for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, Teach For America is a force of over 64,000 alumni and corps members working in over 9,000 schools nationwide in pursuit of profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, lead, thrive and co-create a future filled with possibility. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers mean better learning for students.