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Begging for Loan Forgivenesss


One of the carrots meant to lure college graduates, and career changers, into math and science teaching is loan forgiveness, a form of assistance offered by states, nonprofits, and the federal government. Whether these programs actually have an impact on creating a sustained pool of talented teachers is a matter of dispute. But it's probably a safe bet that for some aspiring teachers, particularly those thinking of forgoing higher-paying gigs for the classroom, the promise of paying off their college debts—especially if the debts rise as high as $50,000 or $70,000—means something.

A story in yesterday's New York Times talks about the impact of the nation's economic slide on these programs, focusing largely on what's occurring at the state level.

When I wrote about loan-forgiveness programs a few years ago, 31 states had some sort of program aimed at providing scholarships or aid to teachers and aspiring teachers. One of the main hurdles for educators on the hunt for money is fairly basic, as I learned: They don't know where to look for aid. They're often unaware of the state and federal money available to them.

If you're teaching in a math or science classroom, what impact do you think the loss of loan-forgiveness programs is likely to have on whether new recruits enter the field?


I wish they had offered ESOL teachers some loan forgiveness. Clinton did introduce something last year but with most ESOL teachers not even certified in the profession, I guess it is only a pipe dream.


Thank you for your comment. This may already have occurred to you, but you might check with your state department of education, to see if they offer financial aid for ESOL teachers. Often state programs provide aid to teachers of "high-need" subjects, though unfortunately, they tend to limit them to math, science, and special education teachers. Even so, it is worth checking. Also, I would check with the US Department of Ed to see if any of their programs might cover you Their site is www.ed.gov, or try this site at:


Good luck, and thank you for your comment.

Ed Week

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