Senate supports Libby bill to increase number of high-quality teachers in high-need schools

Posted: June 06, 2019 | Senator Libby

Legislation from Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, to increase the number of high-quality teachers in high-need school districts, passed in the Maine Senate on Thursday in a unanimous vote.

“With the increased stipend provided in LD 1549, lower-income districts will be better able to attract high-quality teachers, and keep them there, by helping them to compete with the salaries that wealthier districts can afford to pay” said Sen. Libby. “The students in these districts need and deserve the skills and experience that National Board Certified Teachers bring to the classroom.”

Under LD 1549, “An Act To Increase the Supplement for Certain National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certified Teachers in Maine,” teachers who have attained certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will have their state-funded stipend increase from the current $3,000 to $5,000 per year if they’re teaching in a district where more than 50 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced meals.

National Board Certification is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that is earned through a rigorous certification process. It goes beyond state licensure and sets national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

“More than a decade of research from across the country establishes that students taught by NBCTs learn more than students taught by other teachers,” Kathy Henrickson, a first-grade teacher at Dike-Newell School in Bath who is National Board Certified, said at a recent public hearing on LD 1549. “Estimates of the increase in learning are on the order of an additional one to two months of instruction and the positive impact is even greater for high-need students.”

The bill now faces further votes in the Maine Senate and House.