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New state incentives to keep quality students lack funding

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A plan to keep top-performing students home in Indiana after they graduate from college passed the General Assembly unanimously earlier this year, but it could face trouble as lawmakers decide how to fund it.

“I think everyone agrees with the concept,” said Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, “but it will be difficult to find funding for this. We’ll just have to try to convince people that this is a worthwhile cause.”

Moed pushed provisions in Senate Bill 330 – authored by three Republican senators – aimed at attracting top-performing students to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics by providing student-loan reimbursements up to $9,000.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence in March, will have to go through the appropriations process next year to find the funding, which was not specified in this year’s legislation.

Moed said that it will be a few years “before checks will be written.” And the first payout would not be for eight years. That means the first students eligible to receive the reimbursement would be high school seniors this fall.

“The intent was we wanted to try and figure out ways to incentivize top performing students to go into the field of teaching,” Moed said. “The pay level currently for teachers and some of the issues going in education, it’s not always seen as a profession that students with high achievements in high school and college may look at.”

To qualify for the reimbursement a student must have been in the top 20 percent of the their high school graduating class or in the top 20th percentile of the ACT and SAT examination, graduated from college with a 3.5 or higher grade point average, and be teaching a STEM subject, special education, or in a critical shortage geographic area – for at least three years.

“We felt like those were high benchmarks, but not too high that nobody would qualify,” Moed said.

Moed said he is willing to have the program start as a pilot. He said 25 to 75 teachers would be a success, especially since there are only so many job openings in the education field each year.

“There are a lot of studies that show that high performing students that go into teaching are highly successful,” Moed said. “I think that education is such an important part of growth for our state.”

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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