Fewer SC Teachers Seek National Certification

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By Alicia Barnes

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) _ Education officials say cuts in bonuses and financial assistance to pay for the program are reasons why fewer South Carolina teachers are earning a top credential.

The Beaufort Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/T84ODo) that statewide, 799 teachers earned the National Board Certification for the first time in 2009. By 2012, that number was 291.

That means 18 percent of South Carolina's more than 47,000 eligible teachers are certified, third highest in country behind Florida and North Carolina.

Education officials said one reason for the drop is that the annual stipend the state pays National Board certified teachers dropped by $2,500.

Also, the state has ended a program that paid for some or all of the costs of applying for the certification. It costs about $2,500 to complete the process in one year.

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