D. Hawaii Educator Loans
§304A-701 Hawaii educator loans; eligibility; amounts; educator loan forgiveness program; repayment; collection. (a) There is created the Hawaii educator loan program to be administered by the University of Hawaii, in partnership with a financial institution whose operations are principally conducted in Hawaii, to provide financial support to students and teachers who complete a state-approved teacher education program and who agree to teach as a full-time teacher for a period of time to be determined by the university prior to the award of a loan, in:
(1) The Hawaii public school system in a hard-to-fill position including special education, regular education shortage categories, or Title 1 schools, and in one of the following capacities:
(A) As an elementary school teacher teaching in the field of elementary education who has met standards as set forth by the Hawaii teacher standards board; or
(B) As a secondary school teacher teaching in the subject area that is relevant to the loan recipient's academic major as certified by the department of education who has met standards as set forth by the Hawaii teacher standards board; or
(2) At a school located in a rural area in the State, as determined by the superintendent of education.
Eligibility shall be determined by the university on a competitive basis. The amount to be loaned to a student shall be determined by the board of regents based on need for financial aid and proof of acceptance into a state-approved teacher education program at the university. The maximum amount of loans that a student may receive under this program shall be an aggregate amount equivalent to tuition payments and costs of textbooks and other instructional materials necessary to complete a state-approved teacher education program.
(b) All loans made under this subpart shall bear interest at five per cent simple interest. Repayment of principal and interest charges shall commence one year after graduation or three months after a loan recipient ceases to be enrolled in a state-approved teacher education program and shall be paid in periodic installments within a seven-year period. The university may charge late fees and all other reasonable costs for the collection of delinquent loans.
(c) The university shall adopt rules to implement the educator loan program. The rules shall be adopted pursuant to chapter 91, but shall be exempt from the public notice and public hearing requirements.
(d) Liability for repayment of a loan shall be canceled upon the death or permanent total disability of the borrower.
(e) Upon a showing of proof that the loan recipient has completed a state-approved teacher education program and for each year that the loan award recipient teaches in the Hawaii public school system pursuant to subsection (a)(1) or (2), loan forgiveness shall be provided to the recipient as follows:
(1) Ten per cent of the total amount of the loan award and interest shall be waived every year for the first five years of repayment; and
(2) Twenty-five per cent of the total amount of the loan award and interest shall be waived every year for the sixth and seventh years of repayment.
(f) If a loan recipient who is a graduate of a state-approved teacher education program subject to this section and teaching pursuant to subsection (a) fails to teach in the Hawaii public school system for the minimum number of years, as determined by the university prior to the loan, from the recipient's original date of employment with the department of education, excluding temporary leaves of absence, then the recipient shall repay any remaining loan balance at the rate of ten per cent simple interest.
(g) In accordance with chapter 103D, the university may enter into written contracts with collection agencies for the purpose of collecting delinquent loans. All payments collected, exclusive of a collection agency's commissions, shall revert, and be credited, to the Hawaii educator loan program revolving fund. A collection agency that enters into a written contract with the university for the collection of delinquent loans pursuant to this section may collect a commission from the debtor in accordance with the terms of, and up to the amounts authorized in, the written contract. [L 2006, c 75, pt of §2; am L 2007, c 273, §2; am L 2015, c 106, §3]