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Incentive program helps rural school districts hire and retain teachers

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 19:14:01-05

IDAHO — Hiring teachers is a major challenge for school districts across the country.

A mix of less educators and is from the pandemic have caused a strain on many education departments in the U.S. and here in Idaho.

Add this to the challenge that rural communities were already face and you have something that seems insurmountable but a senate bill passed and during this year legislative session may help smaller communities higher more educators.

The Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive program is in the starting phase of their application process to help teachers stay longer in rural communities. This program helps teachers pay their student loans while in smaller school districts in Idaho.

“The teacher shortage problem is a real problem and we have to do all we can to address it, and this is one more tool in our toolbox to do just that. We hope that teachers will take advantage of it not only this year but in the coming years and we think that it will help make a difference in rural Idaho,” said Mike Keckler, chief communications and legislative affairs officer for the Idaho State Board of Education.

The program direct repayment of educational loans to qualifying teachers teachers over a four year period equating to $12,000 total. Tim Perrigot is the superintendent of Wendell school district and says students loans are a struggle for his educators.

“The paperwork that I fill out for loan forgiveness every year; I have year veteran master teachers that are still paying back loans,” Perrigot said. “When we can do anything to encourage people to be in education and take teaching jobs and work with kids, it’s pretty powerful.”

For more information on the educator incentive program, click here.