(UPDATED: 6.5.2020, to reflect the State Board of Education is now accepting applications.)
The State Board of Education resolved a technical glitch that delayed the ability for teacher to submit their master educator premium applications.
The window for educators to apply for financial incentives was supposed to open Monday. But teachers who accessed the State Board of Education’s website told Idaho Education News they could not enter the portal to upload their applications and portfolio materials.
The State Board found a glitch with the link and announced it began accepting online applications on Friday.
The portal is accessible through the State Board’s website, and the application window will remain open through June 30, he said.
Created by the Legislature, master educator premiums are a financial incentive designed to reward the state’s most effective veteran teachers. Teachers who meet the criteria will receive $4,000 per year for three years, bringing the total value of the premiums to $12,000.
Even with budget holdbacks, the premium program remains in place.
If educators miss the June 30 deadline, they will miss out on their last chance to earn the bonus. This year is the final year the state will accept applications for the premiums. Gov. Brad Little’s office pushed a new law that will phase out the master educator premium program after this year.
However, everyone who earns a premium this year will be eligible to have the premium renewed for the full three years, State Board spokesman Mike Keckler said.
Last year’s rollout of the master educator premium program also featured some technical glitches and delays. State Board staffers said last year they would learn from those lessons and improve this year’s process.
One of the problems last year was that a number of links to the application materials didn’t work. This year, the State Board’s staff said it would work closer with applicants to make sure the links work and applications aren’t improperly rejected.
“They don’t need to worry when they first submit it,” Chief Planning and Policy Officer Tracie Bent said. “It’s not going to disqualify them. Our staff will work with them to get all the materials.”
Last year, in the program’s first year, the State Board approved 94 percent of the 1,397 applications. But several of the state’s most decorated teachers did not apply for the premiums after educators said the application process was confusing and time consuming, sometimes taking 80-120 hours to complete.
The State Board will later this month begin accepting applications for portfolio reviewers.
It will depend on how many applications are received and how many reviewers are hired, but the State Board hopes to notify teachers whether they receive a premium as the new school year begins in the fall.
How to apply
The application portal is available at the bottom of this page on the State Board’s website.