Florida District Gives Teachers IOU
Over 500 national board-certified teachers in Florida’s Broward County school district are still awaiting a $10,000 incentive promised to them under the district’s Effective Teacher Program, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The program provides money to bring teachers with national board certifications to Title I schools in the district.
The district has reportedly been unable to pay the incentives due to a shortfall in the federal funding that it expected to receive this year. The delay has created some serious financial problems for teachers that were relying on the extra money.
Sharon Hepburn, a Broward school district teacher, estimated that she’d earn an extra $500 per paycheck with the incentive money.
Without the money she’s had to, “delay buying a house and cut fresh fruit off her grocery list” as well as “[scale] back on her children's activities.”
District officials say that they’ll find a way to pay the teachers the money they’re owed.
“The district is looking for ways to make up the shortfall and pay the teachers,” said associate superintendent for human resources Lynn Strong in the Sun-Sentinel. “The money will be paid.”
This could potentially be the last year the district uses the Effective Teachers Program. They are in negations with the Broward Teachers Union to determine whether the program is a viable way to boost student performance. This has some administrators and teachers worried about hiring and retaining quality educators in needy schools.
"It's very frustrating because now I can't attract teachers who are already nationally board certified,” Hepburn told the Sun-Sentinel.