School counselors and teachers are in danger of losing funding for counseling and teaching excellence in the state of Florida. The committee that controls the incentive funding for educators who have NBCT certification meets on Thursday, January 10th and is looking to cut the funding for the incentives. Florida could lose its excellent counselors and teachers; at the very least, promises made to those who have invested in this certification may lose the significant financial incentive that they were promised (between $35,000 and $60,000 over a ten year period).
The question on the table for Florida legislators is, ?How does having an NBCT teacher or counselor improve student achievement in Florida?s schools?? Florida educators are the only ones who can provide the data and the student success stories these senators need to hear to answer this important question.
Florida School Counselor Association is working behind the scenes with the NBPTS, the American School Counselor Association, and other potential organizations.
How can you help?
Take a stand against going backwards for teachers and counselors. Take a stand for rewarding and recognizing excellence among educators. Take a stand for improving recognition for ourselves and our colleagues.
Email, fax, or write to each of the legislators on the committee (and your own legislator) to ensure that incentive and recognition programs are not cut from the budget.If you are an NBCT school counselor, tell your story of student success and school improvement. Enlist others to make contacts by forwarding this email to all of your colleagues. The time to act is NOW, before the January 10th meeting takes place without our voices being heard. A general template letter you can use is included below.
NOTE: Please use your personal/home email or personal telephone to contact these senators who serve on the Education Appropriations committee of the Florida Senate:
Meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 10th
Education Pre-K - 12 Appropriations [FPCC]:
9:00 a.m.?12:00 noon, Pat Thomas Committee Room, 412 Knott
(MEMBERS: Senator Wise, Chair; Senator Siplin , Vice Chair;
Senators Bullard, Constantine, Dockery, and Garcia)
OPPAGA Gifted Education Study
Overview of Clarke School for the Deaf
National Teacher Certification and the Excellent Teaching Program
District Office: 7475 West Fourth Ave. Hialeah, FL, 33014-4327
OR Tallahassee Office: Room 416, Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL, 32399-1100
Sample email letter for Legislators (feel free to edit or add your own comments)
To the Honorable Senator Stephen Wise:
On January 10 you are going to be meeting to discuss the National Teacher Certification and the Excellent Teaching Program that recognizes and rewards teaching and school counseling excellence in Florida. I urge that you vote to continue this program and its funding to ensure continued excellence among Florida's educators, to support incentives for educators to engage in professional development and practice to the highest professional standards, and to continue the benefits to Florida's students that having one of the largest cadre of excellent teachers and counselors provide.
Cutting or reducing this program is a step backwards for students, educators and the state of Florida.The presence of NBCT teachers and school counselors in Florida?s schools guarantees on-site mentoring for out-of-field and first-year teachers; a practice that improves teacher retention and quality of instruction.NBCT teachers and school counselors have invested hundreds of hours building their pedagogical skills and knowledge of student needs and demonstrating excellent teaching practices to obtain the certification.These excellent educators who provide mentoring, professional development, and leadership in their schools deserve to be rewarded.
Please consider this on January 10th and vote to retain the Excellent Teaching Program which compensates the NBCT educators of Florida's schools.
FSCA's Vision The Florida School Counselor Association (FSCA) expands the image and influence of professional school counselors through advocacy, leadership, collaboration and systemic change at the state level. FSCA empowers professional school counselors with the knowledge, skills, linkages, and resources to promote student success in the school, the home, the community, and the world.