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Tulsa Public Schools to offer thousands in recruitment bonuses for new teachers

Tulsa is set to offer new teachers extra cash. The school district is partnering with the city to offer recruitment bonuses.

People who have teaching certificates will be offered $3,000 if they sign with TPS by May 30, 2024. Those without licenses will be offered $1,000 and training at Tulsa Teacher Corps if they sign by April 30, 2024.

Additional terms will be stipulated within individual contracts, according to Monday night’s school board agenda.

The money is being drawn from city Vision Tulsa funds. The cost is not expected to exceed $350,000.

Board member John Croisant said at Monday’s meeting the bonuses may help the district to stop spending so much money on temps.

“And here’s one solution that will help hopefully get people who want to be a part of this amazing district and help our students,” said Croisant.

The district is currently spending millions of dollars on contracted temporary workers to shore up staff shortages. TPS originally set aside $4.2 million to pay substitute teachers, but now says it needs $2 million more.

TPS officials said at the meeting 633 teacher vacancies are expected to need filling next year.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.