Martin told viewers on Sunday night's live finale that she'd been demoted to janitor at a school in Douglas, Mass., after finishing fourth on the show. After hearing her story, Burnett surprised Martin with the money to help get her life back.
In a statement issued Tuesday by the network, Martin said she took "full responsibility" for her actions.
"I do not feel comfortable about accepting the $50,000. I would instead ask that it be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation," the statement said. "Please accept my apology. I would also like to thank all the people who have supported me through this experience."
Nancy Lane, the superintendent of Douglas Public Schools in Massachusetts, says Martin didn't portray what happened accurately -- and had in fact been promoted, at her own request, to the new position, which pays better and has better benefits.
The two of them faced off on The Early Show Tuesday -- with Lane in New York, and Martin in Los Angeles.
To watch the video of their confrontation,