Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   

Publication Date: January 21, 2003

Author: OS | Office of the Secretary

Summary: 2004 BUDGET TO INCLUDE MORE STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR MATH, SCIENCE AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS


Posted on 01-22-2003


U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

FOR RELEASE

January 21, 2003

2004 BUDGET TO INCLUDE MORE STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR MATH, SCIENCE AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today announced that President Bush’s fiscal year 2004 budget proposal will include additional student loan forgiveness for math, science and special education teachers who work in schools that serve high-poverty populations.

"As we aim to ensure that all children in our nation are taught by highly qualified teachers," Paige said, "we need to find new and better ways to attract our brightest students to careers in teaching. And, we need incentives to encourage teachers to make a commitment to work in low-income communities. This proposal will help our neediest schools recruit and retain highly qualified teachers in math, science, and special education -- fields that have critical teacher shortages, as well as fierce competition from the private sector."

The president’s proposal will provide up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for teachers in these three fields who work for five consecutive years in schools that serve high poverty student populations. This is more than three times the $5,000 in loan forgiveness now allowed for other qualified elementary and secondary teachers serving low-income communities.

The president’s proposal will continue the current program, which is expected to provide the $5,000 loan forgiveness to 38,000 borrowers who will begin their postsecondary education next year and are expected to become qualifying teachers. Of these borrowers, some 7,000 are expected to become math, science or special education teachers and benefit from the expanded loan forgiveness of $17,500. Currently, the average student loan debt facing graduates in these three fields is about $15,000.

Earlier this week, the administration announced a proposed increase in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to ensure educational freedom, opportunity and access for every American. The president’s fiscal year 2004 budget will increase funding by five percent for the following programs: $224 million for HBCUs, $53 million for Historically Black Graduate Institutions and $94 million for HSIs, totaling $371 million.

In his Jan. 4 radio address, Bush announced that he will propose an additional $1 billion, a total of $12.3 billion, for the Title I program in the 2004 budget -- the highest funding level ever for the program that serves our neediest students. In the address, he also announced that he will request more than $1.1 billion for federal reading programs in next year's budget, an increase of $75 million over last year's budget request. This investment will go only to support programs with proven results in teaching children to read.

For more information about these and other Education programs, visit www.ed.gov/offices/FSA/Students/repayment/teachers.