The cost of obtaining National Teacher Certification is a $2500 Assessment Fee and a $65 Application fee. Until recently, Florida paid 90% of the Assessment fee, but the last legislative committee voted to discontinue that assistance. (I can’t find a link to any article on this at this time, but when I do, I will link it)
I have decided that even though I now have to pay the full fee, I still want to do this. From a purely financial point of view, it is a great investment opportunity. Florida pays each teacher who obtains National Certification 10% of the average state salary (currently that is about $45,000) and my county also pays 5% of a teacher’s base salary. I do not work for the county, but my Charter School system has agreed to match the 5% that the county pays. Based on my salary, that will come to approximately $7000/year for the next 10 years. However, I am only 3 years away from top step on our pay scale. When I reach top step, my NBPTS Incentive could be closer to $8000 per year. Thats a pretty good cost return on a $2500 investment.
Yesterday I figured out another positive thing about the fee. I do not have to pay the full amount up front! I had planned to put it on a credit card – one that I do get cash back on – but then I’d have to pay interest, which might just cancel out the cash back. What I learned yesterday is that I only have to pay $500 of the Assessment fee, plus the $65 Application fee in order to get started. I just have to pay the balance off by January 2009. That is very doable for me.
So, now that the financial aspect has been taken care of, I just have to actually make the commitment and send the fee in. I think I’ll do that this weekend!