Bill to create N.J. teacher loan forgiveness program clears Senate committee | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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Bill to create N.J. teacher loan forgiveness program clears Senate committee

NJDollars030911_optLegislation designed to establish a loan redemption program under which teachers could have a portion of their undergraduate loans forgiven by the state in exchange for work at a school in New Jersey was approved Monday by the state Senate Education Committee.

The bill (S-543) would create the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Teacher Loan Redemption Program in the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. The program would allow loan recipients to redeem 10 percent of their NJCLASS loan amounts for each year of service as a teacher in a school in New Jersey.

“Tasked with preparing the next generation of scientists, nurses and community leaders of our state, teachers have what is arguably the most difficult job there is,” Sen. Nia Gil (D-Essex), a co-sponsor, said. “But to become teachers, many of these individuals are forced to take on massive amounts of debt that will take years to pay off. We have to do everything we possibly can to attract and retain excellent teachers. A loan forgiveness program will serve as an incentive for our best and brightest to stay here after college and to choose a New Jersey school to start their careers.”

“This program will allow us to better support the teaching profession by helping to alleviate the financial burden of loans on those who have committed their lives to educating our children,” Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), the other co-sponsor, said. “It will also send a message to teachers that we recognize the tremendous responsibility they are given as educators and are grateful for their hard work.”

The measure was approved by a vote of 3-1-1. The bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration.

—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 
Comments (4)
4 Friday, 08 June 2012 13:18
DanaB
I am also a supporter. My daughter worked full time all through college in a management position and paid her own expenses, car, insurance, food and clothing. She made academic honors and has a Masters with an almost perfect GPA and excellent references but can't get a job in the public schools and has been working charter schools at 2/3 the salary. I think she deserves some relief from this debt considering the changes that have taken place causing chaos to the profession and for the fact that colleges didn't forewarn kids of these changes and adjust their education program to meet those changes accordingly.
3 Monday, 14 May 2012 08:40
Teacher
Would this apply only to NJCLASS loans? Has there been any consideration for those who have taken out Staffords loans?
2 Sunday, 29 January 2012 20:54
Love it!
This is reassuring news.
1 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 15:21
Legs 2
You cannot forgive one person's loan without someone else making up the difference. Why do you think that "only the best and brightest" would take advantage? What about the "worst and stupidest"? Why just kiss up to the NJEA? This type of misguided legislation would be paid for by the possible students and their families who could not afford to go at all and those who took on extra jobs rather than taking out irresponsible loans. Another liberal giveaway to a select few chosen by government at the expense of the rest.

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