Student Loan for Teachers
Creates an incentive for students to become teachers and to ensure that these graduates teach in our public schools. (HB2558 HD1)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO STUDENT LOANS FOR TEACHERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1.The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), a national organization with nineteen partner states, including Hawaii, is focused on improving student learning by ensuring that there is a caring, competent, and qualified teacher in every classroom.
The legislature enacted Act 307, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, originally proposed by NCTAF, that established the Hawaii Education Loan Program (HELP) and special fund for the purpose of providing financial support to students enrolled in a state-approved teacher education program at the University of Hawaii. If upon graduation the student is employed as a full-time teacher in Hawaii’s public school system for a minimum number of years, the student’s loan would be forgiven.
The legislature finds that the shortage of teachers in Hawaii has reached a critical level and that the State must do all it can to resolve this situation. In addition to the teacher-education program at the University of Hawaii, there are numerous private universities and colleges in Hawaii that have state-approved teacher education programs that produce excellent teachers. The legislature finds that these graduates should be given the same incentives to teach in Hawaii’s public school system that are currently available to University of Hawaii graduates.
The purpose of this Act is to create a financial assistance program for students enrolled in state-approved teacher education programs at universities and colleges in Hawaii who serve as a teacher in the department of education following graduation.
SECTION 2. Chapter 304, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§304- Hawaii educator incentive program. (a) There is created the Hawaii educator incentive program to be administered by a designated federal credit union with existing services for teachers that is under contract with the University of Hawaii for the purpose of providing financial assistance to students who complete a state-approved teacher education program in Hawaii and who teach in the Hawaii public school system for a minimum of six consecutive years.
(b) Eligibility requirements and the amount to be provided to a student shall be determined by a state-approved teacher education institution and administered by a designated federal credit union with existing services for teachers, based on proof of graduation from a state-approved teacher education program in Hawaii and being employed as a full-time teacher in the department of education.
(c) The maximum amount 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 in Hawaii and shall not exceed the amount such payments and costs would amount to at the University of Hawaii.
(d)All payments under this section shall commence one year after graduation and shall be paid from the Hawaii educator incentive program special fund in periodic installments over a six-year period. Late fees and other costs for the collection of delinquent loans at the designated federal credit union with existing services for teachers shall be paid by the loan recipient.
(e) Upon a showing of proof that the individual has completed a state-approved teacher education program in Hawaii and is employed as a full-time teacher in the Hawaii public school system, one-tenth of the total loan forgiveness award and interest shall be paid to the loan recipient for every year of the first five years and the remaining amount of the total award shall be paid after the sixth year that a loan recipient teaches in a Hawaii public school in a hard-to-fill position as determined by the superintendent of education, including special education, regular education shortage categories, or Title 1 schools, and in one of the following capacities:
(1) 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
(2) 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.
If a loan recipient subject to this section discontinues teaching in the Hawaii public school system at any time during the six-year loan forgiveness period, excluding sabbatical and other forms of temporary leaves of absence, payments to the loan recipient shall cease at the end of the most recently completed school year.
§304- Hawaii educator incentive program special fund.
(b) There is created in the treasury of the State the Hawaii educator incentive program special fund, into which shall be deposited:
(1) Appropriations by the legislature;
(2) Donations and contributions made by private individuals or organizations for deposit into the fund;
(3) Grants provided by governmental agencies or any other source; and
(4) Interest accrued or earned on moneys in the Hawaii educator incentive program special fund.
The fund shall be administered by the University of Hawaii and used for the purpose of providing financial assistance to participants in the Hawaii educator incentive program pursuant to section 304- ."
SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.