Education News

Aug 11, 2012 11:15 AM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News

MT teachers in hard to fill specialties get student loan assistance

HELENA- Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced on Friday that Montana is providing student loan repayment help to 169 teachers as an incentive to recruit teachers in needed fields to rural areas.

"We had over double the amount of applicants that we could fill this year. Right around a half a million dollars in loan repayment is going out and it shows the great need for these types of programs to help a low-paying profession in our state that's doing a really quality job," Juneau said.

The teachers, selected from 374 applicants, will get student loan repayment assistance of up to $3,000 a year for the next four years, for a total of up to $12,000. This year, $493,193.24 was awarded in student loan repayment assistance.

The 169 educators who received loan repayment represent 109 different schools and three special education cooperatives. The top identified shortage areas are special education, career and technical education, and mathematics.

Other shortage areas include music, science, speech/language pathologist, school counselor, and world languages. The field with the largest number of loan repayment recipients was special education, with 57 awardees; and career and technical education, with 28 awardees.

Counties with the highest number of teachers receiving awards were Cascade County and Sanders County with 11 recipients each.

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