Friday, October 13, 2023

OSDE: First wave of teachers receive $7.5M in new signing bonuses

From the Oklahoma State Department of Education:

Teachers Received $7.5 Million in New Teacher Signing Bonuses
Most Successful Teacher Recruitment Effort in OSDE History 

Oklahoma City, Okla (Oct. 12th) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) announced that the first wave of teachers eligible to receive the Oklahoma Teachers Signing Bonus will begin receiving payments today. Teachers from 200 districts across the state of Oklahoma will receive signing bonuses. 

As Oklahoma experiences teacher shortages, most critically in grades PreK-3 and special education, it is necessary to attract teachers to these critical areas. 66% of the first wave of bonuses went to PreK-3rd grade teachers and 34% of the first wave of bonuses went to special education teachers.  

OSDE has allocated $16M for signing bonuses to new and returning teachers. Certified teachers can earn up to a $50k signing bonus in return for a 5-year commitment to teaching in PreK-3 or special education. The program is being hailed as the gold standard and used as an example for all 50 states in order to end teacher shortages.   

“The free market works in education! Administrators and teachers identified a problem, and through innovation, my administration has found a solution,” said State Superintendent Ryan Walters. “These signing bonuses are designed to recruit and target the best teachers in the country and the best teachers in the state who may have left the profession. Innovative solutions work.” 

The program awarded bonuses to more than 530 teachers across 197 districts throughout the state. 


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