Teachers in Hard-to-Fill Positions Benefit from Student Loan Repayment Program
Friday, August 10, 2012
By Allyson Hagen
Montana Teachers in Hard-to-Fill Positions Benefit from Student Loan Repayment Program
Helena, MT - Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced today that Montana is providing student loan repayment help to 169 teachers as an incentive to recruit teachers in needed fields to rural areas.
"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,” said Superintendent Juneau. "This program allows rural communities to attract and retain quality teachers, which is critical to the continued success of our students."
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 quality educators who received loan repayment represent 109 different schools and three special education cooperatives. This is the fifth year of the program.
The top identified shortage areas were special education, career and technical education, and mathematics respectively. Other shortage areas included: music, science, speech/language pathologist, school counselor and world languages.
Continued Juneau, "We know how important high quality teachers are to improving student achievement, and we need to continue to invest in getting the best teachers we can in our classrooms. Assisting teachers in paying off their student loans is a great incentive for rural schools to help them recruit teachers who are the right fit for their community."
The greatest number of loan repayment assistance was given to special education teachers with 57 awardees and career and technical education teachers with 28 awardees.
Counties with the highest number of teachers receiving awards were Cascade County and Sanders County with 11 recipients each.