Teachers in Hard-to-Fill Positions Benefit from Student Loan Repayment Program
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
By Allyson Hagen
Montana Teachers in Hard-to-Fill Positions Benefit from Student Loan Repayment Program
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced today that Montana is providing student loan repayment help to 141 teachers as an incentive to recruit teachers in needed fields to rural areas.
"Montana has some of the best teachers in the nation," said Juneau. "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.”
The teachers, selected from 222 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, $417,000 was awarded in student loan repayment assistance.
The 141 quality educators who received loan repayment represent 95 different schools and three special education cooperatives. This is the fourth year of the program.
The top identified shortage areas were special education, math and career and technical education respectively. Other shortage areas included: music, art, science, world languages, school counselor, speech/language pathologist and library media.
"Public schools are the hearts of Montana's rural communities. This program allows rural communities to attract and retain quality teachers, which is critical to the continued success of our students."
The greatest number of loan repayment assistance was given to special education teachers with 36 awardees and career and technical education teachers with 26 awardees.
Counties with the highest number of teachers receiving awards were Ravalli County with 18 recipients and Cascade County with 12 recipients.