State Superintendent Ryan Walters Addresses Lawsuit From Oklahoma Teacher

Ryan Walters addresses a lawsuit from an Oklahoma teacher who was told to pay back a $50,000 raise.

Wednesday, January 31st 2024, 1:08 pm

By: News 9


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Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters held a press conference on Wednesday to address a lawsuit from an Oklahoma teacher.

The lawsuit claims the teacher was ordered to pay back a $50,000 raise they received from the Oklahoma Department of Education.

Walters said in the press conference he was satisfied with the results of the signing bonuses, citing it as the "most successful in stated history."

"Our goal has always been two things," Walters said. "We want to get great teachers in the classroom and keep them there. Number two, we want to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars."

Walters also said the reason for this clawback of signing bonuses was to be in accordance with federal guidelines, as the money funding these bonuses comes from the federal government.

"We've worked so closely with the federal government and all their regulations around these dollars to ensure that every provision is in accordance with federal law," Walters said. "So that the state would never be held liable, we have been in close contact with the feds throughout this entire project."

Walters said because of their work with the federal government, there is a plan to avoid forcing teachers to pay back the money, but did not provide any specifics.

"They [the federal government] have been kept in the loop of what we're doing to work with these teachers," Walters said. "So that they don't have to pay the funds back, but that also there's accountability."

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