ROCK HILL, SC (WIS) - South Carolina is third in the nation in the number of teachers who hold a prestigious national certification.
Data released Wednesday by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards shows nearly 500 South Carolina teachers earned its certification this year.
That brings the state's total of National Board Certified teachers to 7,784, behind only North Carolina and Florida.
South Carolina has paid annual $7,500 bonuses for 10 years to teachers who earn the designation. The recession prompted legislators earlier this year to limit that bonus to those already in the system. Lawmakers lowered the bonus to $5,000 yearly for teachers who applied after July 1.
The certification involves tests, video recordings of lessons and examples of student work. They also complete assessment center exercises designed to show they have mastered the subjects they teach and know how to teach them.
"Through this process, they have demonstrated that they have the knowledge and talent to guide our students toward developing 21st century skills," said Lexington One Superintendent Karen Woodward, whose district had 14 newly-certified teachers.
The two-part process can take up to three years.