Board of Education votes to restore $5,000 bonus for 730 nationally certified professionals

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials with the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted to reward 730 nationally certified experts by restoring a $5,000 bonus.

On Thursday, the board voted to restore a $5,000 bonus for nationally certified speech-language pathologists, audiologists and school psychologists after revenue for the annual incentive was cut over the last two years.

The bonus will benefit approximately 730 specialists, and will go into effect next school year.

“After a careful, exhaustive analysis of all available funds to the agency, we are able to make the much-needed stipend for these school specialists possible,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Speech-language pathologists, audiologists and school psychologists are in high demand in the private sector, and we need to keep these highly qualified professionals in our schools to ensure our children receive the services they need for successful learning.”

In order to make the bonus possible, state leaders must approve a $3.65 million transfer from the department’s flexible benefit allowance.

Hofmeister said that in order to continue offering the bonus, which is a state statute, a permanent restoration of funding cuts to the Support of Public School Activities budget is necessary.