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Fri May 3, 2019, 06:26 AM

Teachers Begin To See Unfair Student Loans Disappear

Source: NPR

Teachers Begin To See Unfair Student Loans Disappear

May 3, 20195:01 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
CHRIS ARNOLD
CORY TURNER

Nearly 2,300 teachers have just had a mountain of student loan debt lifted off their backs, according to previously unreleased figures from the U.S. Department of Education. The move follows reporting by NPR that exposed a nightmare for public school teachers across the country.

In exchange for agreeing to work in low-income schools, aspiring teachers could get federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants from the department to help pay their way through college. But those grants were often unfairly turned into loans that teachers had to pay back.

In December, the Education Department proposed a fix. Now, that fix has been expanded, and thousands more teachers are likely to get help.

-snip-

The problem at the heart of the TEACH grant story is that small paperwork issues often triggered this catastrophic consequence. In order to qualify for a grant, aspiring teachers agreed to teach for four years in a low-income public school. But the rules also required that teachers send in a form every year to prove they were actually teaching.

The forms were often due over the summer when teachers and principals, who had to sign them, were away on vacation. And if teachers sent in this annual form even one day late, missing a signature or date, or with any other little problem, their TEACH grants would be turned into loans, with interest. And this process was irreversible. Teachers were told their loans could not be converted back to grants.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/03/711373657/teachers-begin-to-see-unfair-student-loans-disappear

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