Tuesday, October 10, 2023

OK State Dep't of Education touts success of teacher signing bonus program

Here's some positive news from State Superintendent Ryan Walter's brief tenure that is getting overlooked:

OSDE Speaks to States About Success of Teacher Signing Bonus Program

Oklahoma City, Okla – The Oklahoma State Department of Education spoke today to representatives from across the nation on the success of Superintendent Walters’ first of its kind Teacher Signing Bonus program. This program is the gold standard for innovation, problem-solving, and solution-oriented approaches to address the teacher shortage nationally.

The Teacher Signing Bonus has far exceeded expectations, and the program recruited over 530 certified teachers who did not teach in an Oklahoma public school in the previous year. In combination with the across-the-board teacher pay raises and the Oklahoma Teacher Empowerment Program, this marks the beginning of a more aggressive approach to address Oklahoma’s growing teacher shortage.

This new program was funded through COVID relief funding and cuts to unnecessary spending, and it is part of Superintendent Walters’ budget request to the legislature for his Back to Basics plan in order for the program to secure permanent funding.

“I could not be more proud of the work done to implement this innovative and wildly successful program. I will continue to seek out ways that Oklahoma can continue to lead the nation in our aggressive approach to solving the teacher shortage. There is no silver bullet to addressing the teacher shortage, but this program has proven to be one of the effective solutions needed, and I urge the Legislature to provide the permanent funding needed to keep this program going in the future.” – State Superintendent Ryan Walters


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