We’re being told that those mean ol’ legislative Republicans on Jones Street are trying to bleed public education dry. Au Contraire, mes amis. Check out this latest development from a recent House committee meeting:
A House committee endorsed an arrangement that would have the state pay for students’ Advanced Placement tests and give bonuses to teachers whose students earn good scores.
Price tag: $11.7 million. That’s $7.17 million for the test fees, $2.9 million for teacher bonuses, and $1.5 million for teacher professional development. Teachers would receive a $50 bonus for each student who receives a 3 or higher on an AP test. Most colleges give course credit to students who enter earn a 3, 4, or 5 on a test.
A Florida representative from the College Board, the company that owns the exams, pitched this idea to members of the House Select Committee on Education Reform last month. Florida is the only state with such an AP incentive program.
Committees are working on bills to file in the short session that begins in May.
The proposed bill also requires local boards of education to tell parents and students how great AP courses are.There’s not much loose money floating around the budget, prompting Rep. Rosa Gill, a Raleigh Democrat to ask, “Where will the money come from?”
“The funding issue will be dealth with,” said Rep. Hugh Blackwell, a Burke County Republican and a committee chairman.
Costs could come down if the legislature decides to pay test fees for low-income students only, or if the state pays part of the cost and has families pay the rest, Blackwell said.