Loan Forgiveness for Math and Science Teachers?

How can Kansas attract and retain math and science teachers? Some schools have gone overseas for teachers who are looking for higher pay and more opportunities. In this space before, we’ve mentioned that this just might be a clue that something needs to be done to make math and science teaching more attractive–and that “something” should include making it easier for mid-career professionals to take up teaching, as well as offer differential pay that takes into account the varying market demand for different subject areas.

The State Board of Education is going to talk about offering financial incentives, in the form of loan forgiveness.

Next week, the board will “vote on a loan forgiveness program to encourage students attending state universities to become teachers, especially in high need areas like science and math.”

Helping teachers repay college loans is a form of compensation, though we might prefer that the money be spent only on teachers in subject areas where there is a demonstrated problem in filling positions. (If hiring a history teacher is no challenge, for example, there should be no bonus.) Still, it’s a small start to recognizing teachers as individuals, not members of a union who need to be paid the same rate.

Source: Possible solution to teacher shortage, ABC 49 News, December 5.

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  • Larry Jones  On January 15, 2007 at 12:30 am

    I taught science in Kansas for seven years before leaving the state for better pay. What I’d like to know is what the state is willing to do for those of us who graduated before 1998 and have a large amount of school loan debt?
    I’d like to be able to return to Kansas, but can’t afford the pay cut!

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