House Committee tilts Best and Brightest in favor of teachers in Title I schools

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education sweetened the Best and Brightest program for teachers in high-needs schools yesterday before passing it on to the full House Appropriations Committee.

The language amended to the Best and Brightest program was this:

Annually, by February 1, the department shall disburse scholarship funds to each school district for each eligible classroom teacher to receive a scholarship as provided in the General Appropriations Act. The amount disbursed shall include a scholarship award of $1,000, from the total amount of funds appropriated, for each eligible classroom teacher in a Title I school. Of the remaining funds, a scholarship in the amount provided in the General Appropriations Act shall be awarded to every eligible classroom teacher, including those in Title I schools. If the number of eligible classroom teachers exceeds the total appropriation authorized in the General Appropriations Act, the department shall prorate the per-teacher scholarship amount.

This language would provide awards to eligible teachers in Title I schools that are $1,000 larger than eligible teachers in other schools.  For example, if the appropriation is $44 million, there are 5,000 eligible teachers and 1,000 of those eligible teachers are in Title I schools, then each Title I teacher would receive $9,600, and all other teachers would receive $8,600 each.

In the House, Best and Brightest is embedded in HB 7043, which also impacts performance-based funding for the state’s public colleges and universities.

In the Senate, Best and Brightest has its own bill, SB 978, which has attracted bipartisan ambivalence and outright scorn, even from the bill’s author.

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