SB18-147 (Coram & Zenzinger/Rankin & McLachlan) Educator Loan Forgiveness Program
The bill renames the “Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program” the “Educator Loan Forgiveness Program.” It would repay up to $5,000 of education loans for up to five years for 100 teachers and other educators that qualify through the program and that are employed in hard-to-fill positions. It directs the Commission on Higher Education to approve participants in the program each year through criteria they create. The Commission must prepare an annual report regarding the progress of the program participants.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill as one of many strategies that will be considered this session to address educator shortage challenges. Every child deserves the benefit of high-quality teachers, and it is important that we cultivate a pipeline between institutions of higher education and local school districts for educator talent.
Leslie Colwell, our Vice President of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill when it was heard in the Senate Finance Committee this week. Unfortunately, despite strong evidence linking educator loan forgiveness to recruitment and retention in other states with these programs, the bill died on a party line vote of 2-3. Those who voted against the bill said they would like to see more results from the original Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program before expanding it.
February 9, 2018
Assigned to the Senate Finance Committee, where it will be heard on Feb. 13 at 2:00pm in Room 357. Leslie Colwell, Vice President of Education Initiatives, will testify in support.