Both the House and Senate have approved a bill that affects the popular National Board Certification program for outstanding teachers. The bill reduces the annual state stipend for teachers who apply for national board certification after July 1 to $5,000 for 10 years. Teachers who apply for certification before July 1 can still receive a $7,500 annual stipend for 20 years. Also, the national board loan program is ending. Those who have not already applied for a loan must pay out of pocket the $2,500 application fee.
Some lawmakers and Gov. Mark Sanford had advocated closing the program additional teachers.
There are more than 7,000 South Carolina teachers who have earned National Board Certification.