TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - With the start of the new school year less than a month away, the Tuscaloosa City Schools is still offering new incentives for highly-qualified teachers to join the staff at Westlawn Middle School. The program offers additional incentives of up to $25,000 over three years to teachers with National Board Certification or who are undergoing that process, who accept positions at Westlawn Middle.
National Board Certification is a voluntary professional certification process widely acknowledged as the most prestigious certificate in the profession. The incentives available at Westlawn are in addition to those already available to teachers across the system.
Teachers participating in the certification process will receive submission bonuses for completing each of the four components during the progression. Teachers applying for vacancies at the school will be eligible for multiple benefits if they are approved for hire and already hold Board Certification.
Board Certified teachers from outside the system applying for "hard-to-fill" subject areas (math, science, and special education) will be eligible for existing signing bonuses of up to $5,000 with a three-year commitment, a relocation reimbursement of up to a $1,000 (math, science, and special education teachers), and teachers holding Board Certification in certain subject areas will be eligible for a second annual stipend from the state as provided by recent budget legislation.
In all, bonuses and stipends range from $5,000 to approximately $25,000 over three years.
TCS Director of Special Programs Andrew Maxey says teacher turnover can be especially high in schools with high poverty rates.
''We believe that every child deserves an accomplished teacher, and our strategic plan puts forward the commitment that we will work to recruit and retain the best and the brightest, and particularly to bring accomplished teachers to students who need them the most," Maxey said.
Maxey says the system is looking at the possibility of expanding this program to other schools in the future.
The district encourages teachers interested in learning more to contact the Human Resources Department and to check job listings on the website.