OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — New numbers show hundreds of teachers are eligible for the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Teacher Bonus Program that was announced earlier this year.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters announced the “Comprehensive Teacher Pay Reform” initiative in April and as of September OSDE has confirmed that 800 applied with 533 eligible.
Dan Isett of OSDE said that the 533 eligible teachers are pending the return of required documents related to payment of bonus, a final certification check, a final check on years of service, and a signed 5-year agreement.
The signing bonus breakdown is as follows:
Less than 3 years experience: $15,000. If teaching in a rural or high-poverty district: $20,000
3+ years experience: $25,000. If teaching in a rural or high-poverty district: $30,000
5+ years experience and teaching in a rural or high-poverty district: $50,000
5+ years experience teaching special education: $50,000
Teachers moving to Oklahoma with less than 5 years experience: $25,000
Teachers moving to Oklahoma with more than 5 years experience: $50,000
According to Isett out of the 533 eligible so far:
Pre-K through 3rd grade – 352
Special Education – 168
Pre-K through 3rd grade and Special Education – 13
Out of state – 74
Districts – 197
High poverty districts – 68
Rural districts – 24
High poverty and rural districts – 76
Isett said that 74 teachers ended up qualifying for the $50,000 bonus. He said that seven teachers in the Oklahoma City District met the criteria for the bonus: four for the $50,000 and three for the $20,000.
It was confirmed through OSDE that the department would recoup the funds on a prorated basis from those who end up not fulfilling the five-year commitment.