Comprehensive Teacher Pay Reform


Teacher Signing Bonuses 

Oklahoma continues to experience acute teacher shortages, most critically in grades PK-3 and special education. To attract classroom teachers to these critical shortage areas, 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 PK-3 or special education. They will receive a larger bonus for making a commitment to teach in a rural or high-poverty school. Teachers are eligible for the bonus if they were not employed by an Oklahoma school district in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Eligible Teachers Years of Experience Standard Signing Bonus Elevated Signing Bonus for Teaching in a Rural or High Poverty District
PK-3rd grade or PK-12 SPED Less than three years $15,000 $20,000
PK-3rd grade or PK-12 SPED Three to four years $25,000 $30,000
PK-3rd grade Five or more years NA $50,000
PK-12th special education Five or more years $50,000 NA
PK – 3rd grade or PK-12 SPED teachers moving to OK Less than five years $25,000 NA
PK – 3rd grade or PK-12 SPED teachers moving to OK Five or more years $50,000 NA

**At this time, all funding for the Teacher Signing Bonus has been exhausted. The application will remain open with the possibility of additional funding to expand the program in the future.


 Additional Information
 Teacher Application



May/June - OSDE team reviews applications.

July - OSDE team verifies teachers have an OK teacher certification number, are certified in designated areas, and did not work as certified OK teachers during the 22-23 school year.

August - OSDE team notifies teachers of eligibility. 

September - OSDE pays signing bonuses directly to teachers after final verification of district employment in a designated teaching area and certification status. Teachers will be required to submit certain documentation and sign a five-year agreement with the OSDE prior to payment.

Teacher Empowerment Program 

OSDE is launching year one of the Teacher Empowerment Program created by HB4388. $22M from the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund is available in the Teacher Empowerment Revolving Fund. These funds provide a career ladder structure for effective teachers. School districts can identify and designate up to 10% of their highest quality teachers for advanced, lead, and master designations annually. Depending on the designation level, teachers will receive a minimum $3,000 to $10,000 pay increase to be matched by Teacher Empowerment Revolving funds. Teachers employed at a school with economically disadvantaged students (40% or more), or at a district with enrollment below 1,000 students, will receive an additional one-time award of $1,500 to $5,000 depending on their designation.  

Through the Teacher Empowerment Fund, teachers may earn as much as $80,000 in additional income: a maximum of $40,000 in annual incentive salary from their district as well as a corresponding State match up to $40,000.

 Additional Information
 District Guidance
 Single Sign-on/GMS Instructions for Districts
 OTEP Application Guidance



Teacher Pay Raise 

Oklahoma’s teacher turnover rate for school year 2022-2023 was 24%, the highest rate in a decade. As of May 15th, 2023, the Oklahoma legislature has announced a deal concerning a teacher pay raise, which will be a step in the right direction to bridge our teacher turnover divide. As announced by the legislature, the teacher pay increase would be based upon number of years served. The pay raise would apply to all certified staff working in public schools beginning next year:

  • $3,000 for educators with zero to four years of experience
  • $4,000 for educators with five to nine years of experience
  • $5,000 for educators with 10 to 14 years of experience
  • $6,000 for educators 15 years or more of experience

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Last updated on October 17, 2023