Aspiring teachers get new help paying for college

New rules kicked in last week that will help aspiring teachers pay for college and complete a years-long overhaul of the federal TEACH Grant program — from a bureaucratic bear trap that hobbled thousands of teachers with unfair student loan debts to a program that may actually make good on its foundational promise: to help K-12 educators pay for their own education in exchange for teaching a high-need subject, like math, for four years in a low-income community.

“The changes will deliver much-needed improvements to the TEACH Grant,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Respecting and honoring teachers who serve students with the greatest needs also requires that we ensure these educators receive the support to which they are entitled from this important federal program without having to jump through unnecessary hoops.”

In Dec. 2018, the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos committed to overhauling the program and, last summer, posted its more flexible revisions. Among those changes that go into effect today, teachers will no longer have their grants automatically converted to loans if they fail to submit annual certification paperwork. Instead, with eight years to make good on a four-year teaching requirement, teachers won’t have their grants converted to loans until completion of the required service is no longer feasible.

Read more from NPR.

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