Thursday, April 23, 2009

Governor Signs Bill to Help Recruit More Math, Science Teachers

Governor Sonny Perdue today signed House Bill 280, which will start new fully-certified math and science teachers at the same salary as a fifth year teacher.

“Just as Georgia businesses increase incentives to fill critical positions, we now have the same ability,” said Governor Perdue. “Last year, Georgia produced only one physics teacher. This legislation will help us address the shortage of math and science teachers in the state.”

The legislation was introduced by House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Brooks Coleman and carried in the Senate by Education and Youth Committee Chairman Sen. Dan Weber. The Governor was joined at the bill signing by the Georgia robotics teams that participated at the FIRST Championship that was held in Atlanta last weekend.

In the 2007-2008 school year Georgia produced 2,000 early childhood teachers, but only one physics teacher, nine chemistry teachers and 140 math teachers.

The Governor’s proposal was based on recommendations by the Alliance of Education Agency Head’s Math and Science Task Force. Under the legislation, math and science teachers with less than five years experience will be brought up to the fifth year pay level. To encourage elementary teachers to increase their competency in math and science, the Governor’s proposal also provides a $1,000 annual bonus to elementary teachers who hold a math or science endorsement.

The incentives will be available for the 2010-11 school year, which will begin in the Fiscal Year 2011 state budget.
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