Teacher Signing Bonuses Hit Bank Accounts This Week
KTUL - October 17, 2023 6:04 am
State Superintendent Ryan Walters (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Teacher signing bonuses hit educators’ bank accounts this week, as guaranteed by State Superintendent Ryan Walters.
The program incentivized many individuals into Oklahoma classrooms with its promise of up to $50 thousand.
One teacher, who prefers to stay anonymous, says he went back to teaching strictly to qualify for Walters’ bonus program.
The program is a two-tiered system based on how many years of experience a teacher has and where they decide to teach.
This teacher qualified for the full $50 thousand, but he only received about $29 thousand after taxes.
This deduction shocked him, but tax experts say they are not surprised.
“That would be subject to social security tax FICA and Medicare, so that’s going to be 7.65%,” said Assistant Accounting Professor at Oklahoma City University Robin Walker. “And then, if you are in a state like Oklahoma, that’s 4.75%. And the federally, there’s a variety of rates and it depends on how the W-4 is filled out, but that can be between 22-30% or so.”
Another stipulation of the bonus is that if a teacher ends up leaving the profession before the agreed five-year mark that comes with the bonus, then districts will have to be responsible for collecting a pro-rated portion of the funds, around 20%, of the signing bonus per year from the teacher.