OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for ways to continue funding an annual stipend for nationally certified teachers that's expected to cost the state more than $16 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
Members of the House Education Committee met Tuesday to study the National Board Certified Teacher program that became a hot-button issue last year after newly elected state Superintendent Janet Barresi's budget eliminated funding for the $5,000 annual stipend.
The Republican-controlled Legislature approved supplemental funding earlier this year to pay the bonuses - but have imposed a moratorium on new teachers becoming eligible for the program.
Committee Chair Rep. Ann Coody says lawmakers want to continue the stipend - but have concerns over the increasing costs now that more than 3,200 educators are expected qualify for the bonus next year.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)