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Teachers could receive money to pay loans under proposed bill

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A bipartisan group in the Indiana House is working to give some public elementary or high school teachers $9,000 towards their student loans after three consecutive years of teaching.

Teachers would only be eligible if they teach a course in science, technology, engineering or mathematics – known as STEM courses – or in an area of teacher shortage or special education.

They also must have been in the top 20 percent of their high school’s graduating class or in the top twentieth percentile on the SAT or ACT exam, and have graduated from college with a grade point average of at least 3.5.

Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, who authored House Bill 1210, said an identical bill passed last year.

“It seeks to help us attract our best and brightest students to lead our classrooms here in Indiana,” Moed said. “It not only incentivizes those students to go into teaching but also to keep them right in Indiana.”

The bill once again passed unanimously through the House Education Committee and was supported by all who testified, including John Barnes, a representative from the Department of Education, and state Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Sally Sloan, executive director of Indiana Federation of Teachers, said she hopes to see more bills like it in the future.

“We believe that all teachers are critical to education and maybe at some point we can consider adding others in,” Sloan said. “For example, pay K-3 teachers who teach reading because if they didn’t teach reading we certainly wouldn’t have these students who were capable of going into science, math or the other fields.”

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  • fantasyland
    The changes in education make this a moot point. Kids that would fit in this box have no interest in going into teaching. Why you ask? Because teachers have been made out to be the problem in all the debates about the education system. Why would someone want to go into a career when you are going to be called an idiot at every turn. And to those of you saying the unions will protect them, where are you been the last 2 years. Unions have no power anymore. There are no automatic raises like you've seen in the past, no tenure or seniority, and unfortunately no opportunity for a raise. It's actually much worse than in the private sector where you at least have a chance to get a raise. teachers will be lucky to see an increase in pay from where they started in the school corporation. No raises for getting a Masters or additional education. Thank you all for education reform, you're going to have the lowest of the low going into teaching.
  • What about the rest of us?
    I'm not against this for teachers but how about the rest of us? I've got student loans and work in healthcare. I struggle to pay them and truly live paycheck to paycheck. What is being done to help the rest of us?
  • Ridiculous
    This is nuts! Let the union pay off the teachers' loans. Why pay one more dime to the most uncompetitive industry in the U.S.? IPS just got an "F"!
    • Where's pride?
      True! I pay off my own loans (or don't buy it!). I am sick of reading about cities, states and federal governments just HANDING $$$ to businesses. OUR MONEY!!! Indiana is a terrific state...we don't need to whore our taxpayer money for your company. Our small business has never taken a cent from you, the taxpayer.
    • Really?
      So now our state govt. thinks it is its job to pick which (public sector) jobs are deserving enough to take taxpayer dollars to underwrite their education costs??? How about doctors, veterinarians, social workers, airline pilots, lawyers (well, maybe not lawyers...)- or how about this? - give me back $9,000 of my paid taxes to apply to MY OWN CHILDREN'S student loans!!!
    • Our Money?
      Exactly. This is nuts to hand out more taxpayer money to teachers. These are sought after jobs because of their decent salaries. No one appreciates teachers more than a mom. Loose the adminstrative nightmare our school systems have created.
    • Punish the paid?
      Actually think about it before you praise it. You are giving $9000 to only those with a student loan. This means every responsible person who worked their way through college, earned scholarships, or otherwise worked to get through school with little to no debt, get zero benefit. This incentivizes the average teacher to get student loans rather than avoid them. Not to mention it puts the tab on the tax bill of its citizens. Which is interesting considering the rich pay virtually all taxes. Way to go 99 percenters...
    • Great Idea
      Great idea, but way too restrictive. Why does someone's high school place percentage matter? This puts a huge disadvantage to teachers who came from large high schools. It's much harder to get in the top 20% in a school of 500-1000 vs a school of 100.
    • Good Idea
      Not a bad idea. Sounds like a good way to attract teachers, and placing limits around qualification will help prevent abuse. I would, however, like to see it as a longer-term more complete solution. Rather than only $9,000 after three years, I would rather see a program that amortized student loans over a career length term and gave teachers an annual benefit to cover student loan costs for that year. I think this would help keep teachers, rather than having them come and get their subsidy and moving along...
    • ARTS
      Apparently the arts don't count as usual. Way to go Indiana.
    • Eliminate Student Loans
      I would have no problem with the complete elimination of Student Loans for teachers after a three to five year period. Our young people need good teachers and the demands for quality in education are growing larger, so I would vote to help teachers by reducing or eliminating their student loans.

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