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SB 115 would pay teachers $3K a year for board certification

Former Sen. Mary Moe

By Cole Grant/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA – Montana teachers who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards now receive a one-time $3,000 stipend, but lawmakers are considering a bill that would make that payment annual.

Senate Bill 115 would also double the stipend if the teacher works in a high poverty level school, or one that’s affected by a “critical quality educator shortage.”

Former Sen. Mary Moe, D-Great Falls, said the incentive is a good way to get qualified teachers in the classroom.

“One, we know it’s an indicator of quality, and two if we want to attract teachers, salary is a big way to do that,” Moe said.

According to the bill’s fiscal note, 87 teachers in Montana are nationally board certified, and 20 of those would be eligible for the doubled stipend.

Senator Moe was carrying SB 115 until she resigned last Friday for personal reasons. Now Sen. Frederick Moore, R-Miles City, is carrying the bill.

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee will hear the bill Tuesday afternoon.

Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.