Section 19C. There shall be Massachusetts master teacher corps program for the purpose of building a group of recognized teachers of high achievement in the profession who shall serve to mentor incoming apprentice teachers and further the goals of the education reform act, so-called. The department of education shall administer this program. Funding for said program shall be subject to the provisions of section 35S of chapter 10.
The board of education shall promulgate regulations, where necessary, for the effective implementation of such program. Such regulations shall include the following provisions:
(1) The department may select master teachers who achieve master teacher status through certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, pass a challenging content test, and agree to mentor apprentice teachers. The department may develop and include alternatives to the NBPTS program provided such alternatives maintain equivalent or higher standards of excellence in teaching.
(2) The department may provide master teachers with partial or full reimbursement for the assessment costs of said NBPTS certification. The department shall provide master teachers with ongoing salary bonuses for such master teachers. Such ongoing salary bonuses shall be limited to $5,000 per year. Within said $5,000 limit, the department may authorize a nominal payment to the school district of such master teachers to facilitate time for the master teacher to engage in mentoring activity.
(3) Teachers with master teacher status shall have full parity in certification and compensation with teachers who earn a master's degrees from approved higher education institutions, notwithstanding the provisions of section 38G of chapter 71, or chapter 150E.
(4) The program shall set forth an outreach plan to attract underrepresented populations to the teaching profession.