Education News

Feb 3, 2012 11:35 AM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

MT teachers in critical shortage areas may get student loan help

HELENA- The Montana Office of Public Instruction has announced that applications for student loan repayment assistance for teachers in "critical shortage areas" are now available.

The eight education fields facing critical teacher shortages in Montana are determined by the Office of Public Instruction each year.

"It is important that we do what we can in this economy to keep good teachers in our rural schools, especially in areas like career and technical education and special education which are difficult to fill. Identifying these shortage areas helps us recruit the right people for the right places," Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

Teachers are eligible for student loan repayment assistance of up to $3,000 a year for the next four years, for a total of up to $12,000. Education officials say 141 teachers were awarded $417,000 in student loan repayment assistance.

To qualify for loan assistance an educator must be:

  • Teaching in an impacted academic area: special education, career and technical education, mathematics, music, science, speech-language pathologist, school counselor, and world languages.
  • Teaching in an impacted school. These schools tend to be rural and isolated, have a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students, and/or have greater challenges in closing the achievement gap. Click here to see the list of qualifying schools (PDF).
  • A full-time educator holding a valid educator license with an endorsement in an impacted subject area or a licensed professional providing services to students in a school district, an education cooperative, the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, the Montana Youth Challenge Program or a state youth correctional facility.

The Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program is administered by the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program, a division of the Commissioner's Office of Higher Education.

Questions regarding the program and application process may be directed to Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program at 800.537.7508. Click here for the application.


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