New MS Law Provides Incentive for National Board Certified Teachers; Encourages High Quality Teaching in Needy Areas

ARLINGTON, Va. — April 18, 2016 — Today, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will sign into law Mississippi House Bill 207 that provides a $4,000 stipend for National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who teach in specified* counties. The Bill also makes Board certification more affordable by changing the way a teacher is reimbursed for going through the process to become National Board certified.

In Mississippi, approximately 12% of teachers are Board-certified. Research demonstrates that students of Board-certified teachers learn more than students of other teachers.

“The process of becoming Board-certified is transformative. Increasing the number of Board-certified teachers in Mississippi will impact student achievement and advance opportunities for the long term. This is a great opportunity to benefit schools in areas that currently have very few accomplished teachers,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT and president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Championed by Representative John Moore (R-Brandon) and Senator Grey Tollison (R-Oxford), Bill 207 establishes a pilot to address teacher disparities in some of the State’s most needy areas.

Consisting of four components, the process of becoming Board-certified requires teachers to submit evidence and pass assessments demonstrating that they have the content knowledge and pedagogical skills to help students succeed.

“The intent of this legislation is to attract more NBCTs into underserved schools with few to no NBCTs, and to encourage more teachers in these underserved areas to pursue National Board Certification. I believe higher numbers of NBCTs will improve student achievement,” said Senator Grey Tollison.

This important legislation will encourage all of Mississippi’s teachers to demonstrate that their teaching practice meets the highest standard. Having a Board-certified teacher is an advantage that would benefit all students in order for them to be ready for the college and career of their choice.

*Counties impacted by House Bill 207 include the following: Adams, Amite, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Washington, and Wilkinson.