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june 22, 2009 - Math, Science Teachers Receive $13,500 for Completing Incentive Program  RSS feed

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Twenty-one Oklahoma mathematics and science teachers recently received more than $13,500 for completing the Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program (TSEIP), a financial incentive program of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“TSEIP is a valuable program that enables Oklahoma to recruit and retain more math and science teachers,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “In today’s global economy, we need to make sure we keep our teachers in the state to instruct Oklahoma students in these important fields.”

State lawmakers created TSEIP in 2000 to attract and retain more teachers in math and science. To be eligible for TSEIP, teachers must agree to participate while in college, obtain a math or science education degree and teach in an Oklahoma secondary public school for at least five consecutive years.

After completing their fifth year of teaching, participants return documents to the TSEIP administrative office to determine eligibility for the incentive award. Participants who receive the incentive award must first pay their eligible student loans, and any money remaining is for them to keep. Teachers who do not have any loans to repay keep the entire cash award.

Since the first award in 2006, 93 teachers have received more than $1 million in cash incentives for teaching secondary math or science in Oklahoma public schools. Enrollment in the program has increased 22 percent in the last three years.

Officials requested earlier this year to increase the financial benefit to $13,602, or by $1,434, to keep pace with the cost of college. The legislation that created TSEIP also requires a formula for its incentive amount, which is three times the average annual cost of undergraduate tuition and fees at a state college or university offering teacher education programs.

Students interested in learning more about TSEIP should contact the education department at their respective college or university or visit the TSEIP Web site at www.cashforteachingok.org. They may also contact the State Regents Teacher Education Program at (800) 858-1840 or e-mail Saeed Sarani at ssarani@osrhe.edu.