Teachers are responsible for the moral upbringing of their students who are the backbone of any society and also its future. It is obvious, therefore, that teachers are an important part of society, and society should have an urgent responsibility in helping those who help mold our children. This is where the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program comes in.
A person qualifies as a teacher only when he or she is properly licensed, duly certified or to be more precise, registered by the state education agency. The certificate of a teacher should be about the skill of the person which is naturally related to the educational service provided by him to the children based on the curriculum.
Duty to the Teacher
Realizing the significance of teachers in the society, in USA especially, new ways are being found out to keep the teachers happy in their position. Genuine efforts are being made to keep them satisfied and content in their position so that they continue to work full time in their jobs without getting distracted by the glamour and glitz of other jobs. In fact, an incentive has already been offered to them. They are offered up to $17,500 in principle reduction on their student loan under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness plan. Teachers can also qualify for a 10 year term on the loan, which after 10 years any remaining balance will be forgiven completely. Typically the term on a loan, depending on the size, can be up to 25 years. This is an incentive for those pursuing a career in teaching and are dedicated to the students for a term of not less than 5 years.
Under the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Act, there is this special provision for forgiveness in every consolidated loan. In this provision, if a teacher repays his loan regularly for a certain period of time, the Department of Education has the power to forgive the balance of that person which remains unpaid at the end of the loan term.
There is a procedure for this, though it is not very simple. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness application should be completed by the candidate and the chief administrative officer should complete the certification section certifying that the applicant is eligible for it. The application will then be submitted to the holder of the loan by the candidate. Also the loans should be consolidated into a Direct Student Loan to allow for the 10 year forgiveness.
But like every good things there are certain conditions attached to this provision:
- The candidate should not have a balance on Direct Loans which remains unpaid as on October 1, 1998. Moreover, a defaulter on a subsidized or unsubsidized loan is not considered eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
- The loans also much have originated prior to the teacher completing the five year vested period.
- Moreover the teacher should have completed his or her employment as a teacher for five consecutive academic years and that also after the 1997-98 academic years.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness that the teachers are eligible to receive has different categories:
- They are eligible to receive $5,000 in loan forgiveness if they were engaged as a full-time teacher of an elementary school or a full-time teacher of a secondary school.
- They are eligible to receive $17,500 in loan forgiveness if they are a highly qualified teacher of mathematics or science in a secondary school or a highly qualified teacher of special education who teach disable children.
- 10 year forgiveness eligibility with the balance of the loans being forgiveness after the term.
Now the question is how to decide who is a highly qualified teacher? Under Obama Student Loan Forgiveness scheme a person who has passed the state teacher licensing examination and has become licensed to teach in that state is qualified enough.
Other than this, those who are novice in this profession are thought to be highly-qualified if they are Bachelor’s degree holder or have shown their subject knowledge by clearing successfully a difficult state test or their teaching ability in all the areas of elementary school curriculum.
In the case of secondary school teachers they are considered highly qualified if they are Bachelor’s degree holders or show their mastery in all the academic subjects taught by them based on superior but uniform standard of evaluation.
For more information on the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program follow this link.