Bill encourages students to teach in underserved areas
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org January 31, 2013 11:18AM
Updated: February 9, 2013 12:11PM
INDIANAPOLIS — How do you attract bright high school students to become teachers in both underserved school corporations and in science, technology, engineeringand mathematics?
One idea from the Indiana General Assembly: Wipe out $15,000 in student debt.
A bill in the House of Representatives would provide funds for a prospective elementary or high school teacher who teaches in an area with a teacher shortage, whether by location or subject matter, could qualify for a $15,000 educational loan repayment, if that student is within the top 10 percent of his or her high school and college class and chooses to become a teacher.
The student would only qualify if they taught in the classroom for at least five years.
While the bill was well-received by the House Education Committee Thursday, concerns arose about how to administer the loan repayment.
State Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, wondered if the $15,000 should be paid over a number of years. He also insisted that the bill include geographic teacher shortages, which can range from rural to urban areas.
Other concerns were whether the program should be handled by the Commission of Higher Education or the Department of Education.
State Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, who authored the bill, said he would revise the bill and present it again.