Fri., January 1, 2010 3:27pm (EST)

Teachers May Get Bonuses After All
By Odette Yousef
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA, Ga.  —  
The Georgia state legislature is considering full-funding of a teacher bonus program.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
The Georgia state legislature is considering full-funding of a teacher bonus program. (photo Orlando Montoya)
Teachers who have earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards may get their full bonuses after all.

The state legislature only partially funded the promised supplements because of a budget crunch, but may fix that in January.

In October, a teachers union sued the state, saying it didn’t honor its promise to pay a 10% bonus to certified teachers.

The state only funded $7 million of the $12 million program this fiscal year. It’s not clear where legislators would find the additional $5 million.

"That’s a pretty miniscule amount, given the state budget of $19 billion," says Tim Callahan of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

But some legislators are worried about the lawsuit:

That clouds the issue. We may have to see what the courts say with that decision," says State Rep. Brooks Coleman, who chairs the House Education Committee.

Legislators voted to close the program to teachers who began the certification process after January 1st, 2009.

For those who were already certified, or started the process prior to that date, funding was made subject to the availability of funds.