Sunday March 21, 2021

TEACHER INCENTIVES PAY OFF

Each school day, teachers across Oklahoma City Public Schools show up ready to care for their students’ educational and emotional needs. They not only lead their classrooms (in person or online) they engage with families and the community to make things better for their students.

Teachers don’t find their way to the classroom because of the pay or pats on the back. They find their way because they have a calling to serve students and to make their lives better. It is not an overstatement to say that teachers play one of the most significant roles a child has in their life. Despite that, they’ve historically been underpaid and under-appreciated. Just ask any parent who has been responsible for monitoring remote learning during the pandemic to confirm that fact!

A reality across the country is that we struggle to find enough of these special individuals that work to shape the minds of our children. What we must do locally is ensure that Oklahoma City Public Schools is competitive and offers the right compensation and incentives to attract the highest quality and volume of candidates.

According to research done by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, providing an innovative incentive package in addition to regular compensation is an important strategy that has proven results. These incentives are most effective when they have substantial value. For example, a ten percent discount is not as effective or attractive as a forty percent discount.

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is initiating efforts with the business community to develop incentive packages allowing Oklahoma City Public Schools to offer each new teachers a package worth at least $3,000-$5,000 combined. Approximately 350 new teachers will be hired for the 2021-2022 school year.

The incentives can include discounts or waived fees in categories such as housing, transportation, professional services, retail, dining or attractions. Gift cards, or other tangible product gifts are also viable options. Anyone interested in providing incentives can go to www.okckids.com to learn more.

Using incentives as part of the hiring process is commonplace in most industries and is becoming more common in education. Oklahoma City Public Schools needs everything possible in their tool belts as they compete for talent in our state and elsewhere. These incentive packages offer another way our community can support efforts on behalf of our students.

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