Teacher Loan Forgiveness
In our experience at the Law Offices of D.J. Rausa and Chris Bush, there is one part of our everyday workforce that is so underpaid, it defies all logic. School Teachers!
As we experience a shifting economy, the salaries of teachers continue to decline, while the cost of higher education and teaching credentials skyrockets. That means we see school teachers, from K-1 through high school, suffer the enormous pressure of dealing with their student loan debt.
Attorneys D.J. Rausa and Chris Bush represent teachers in their management of their private and Federal student loan debt. After a full analysis of their complete financial picture, we will be able to custom craft a financial plan. This plan includes taking advantage of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program offered to qualified teachers by the U.S. Department of Education.
Every teacher’s circumstances are different and if qualified, teachers can take advantage of The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program as well as other Federal Programs that are out there. These programs can be combined to take full advantage of ALL the Federal Programs.
With this in mind, please read the detailed article that follows this introduction and call to make an appointment to obtain a free consultation with attorney D.J. Rausa or Chris Bush for a full review and explanation of options.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage people to continue and enter in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you train full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions that serve low-income people, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.
If you are in default on subsidized or unsubsidized loans, you are may not eligible for forgiveness of that loan unless you have actually made satisfactory repayment arrangements using the holder of the defaulted loan.
The loan(s) for which you are searching for forgiveness must have been made before the end of your five academic years of qualified teaching service.
Any time you spent teaching to get benefits through AmeriCorps cannot be counted toward your needed five years of teaching for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
You must have been used as a full-time instructor for five consecutive and total educational years, and at least one of those years must have been after the 1997–98 educational year.
You must have been employed in secondary or primary school that is in a college district that qualifies for funds under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended; has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education based on an assumption that more than 30 per cent of the school’s total enrollment is made up of children who qualify for solutions supplied under Title I; and is listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. If this directory is not available before May 1 of any year, the previous year’s directory may be used.
Note: All second and elementary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)—or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract with BIE—qualify as schools serving low-income students. These schools are qualifying schools for purposes of the loan forgiveness program, even if they are not detailed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Advantages.
You may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying service performed after the 2007–08 academic year at a qualified academic service agency.
If your school meets the above requirements for at least one year of your teaching service, but does not meet these requirements during subsequent years, your subsequent years of teaching at the school may be counted toward the required five full and consecutive educational years of teaching.
Who is considered a teacher?
A teacher is an individual who provides direct classroom training, or class-type teaching in a nonclassroom setting. Special Education teachers are considered teachers.
Just how long must I teach?
You must teach full-time for five consecutive and total academic years.
Service Completed Before Oct. 30, 2004
If your five consecutive and total years of teaching began before Oct. 30, 2004, be sure to note the following:
- You may possibly receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if, as certified by the chief administrative officer of the college where you had been used, you had been
- a full-time primary school teacher who demonstrated teaching and knowledge skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the primary college curriculum; or
- a full-time secondary school teacher who taught in a subject area that had been relevant to your academic major.
- You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if, as certified by the primary administrative officer of the college where you had been used, you were
- an extremely qualified full-time science or math teacher in a qualified second school; or
- an extremely competent special education instructor with the main responsibility of offering special education to children with disabilities, and you taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and have actually shown teaching and knowledge abilities in the content areas of the curriculum which you taught.
Service Starting on or After Oct. 30, 2004
If your five consecutive and full years of teaching service started on or after Oct. 30, 2004, be sure to note the following:
- You may get up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if you were a highly qualified full-time elementary or second school teacher.
- You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if, as certified by the main administrative officer of the school where you were employed, you were
- a highly qualified full-time science or math instructor in an eligible second school; or
- a highly qualified special education instructor whoever primary obligation had been to provide special education to kids with disabilities, and you taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and have actually shown understanding and training abilities in the content areas of the curriculum which you taught.
Unable to Finish an Academic Year
If you had been unable to finish a scholastic year of training, that year may still be counted toward the required five consecutive and total academic years if
- you completed at minimum one-half of the academic 12 months;
- your employer views you to have satisfied your contract requirements for the academic 12 months for the purposes of salary increases, tenure, and retirement; and
- you were unable to complete the academic 12 months because
- you returned to postsecondary training, on at least a half-time foundation, in a location of research straight related to the performance of the teaching service described above; or
- you had a condition covered under the Family and healthcare Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA); or
- you were known as or ordered to active duty status for more than 30 days as a member of a book component of the armed forces.
Have always been I an extremely qualified instructor?
To be a highly qualified instructor, a public elementary or secondary school teacher must
- have acquired full state certification as a teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification) or passed the state teacher licensing assessment, and keeps a license to teach in that state, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter college, the term means that the teacher satisfies the demands set forth in the state's public charter college legislation; and
- have not had licensure or certification requirements waived on a crisis, temporary, or provisional basis.
In addition to the above—
An elementary college instructor who is brand new to the profession is considered highly competent if he or she also
- holds at least a bachelor’s level; and
- features shown, by moving a rigorous state test, subject teaching and knowledge abilities in reading, writing, math, and other areas of the basic primary college curriculum (which may comprise of passing a state-required licensing or certification test or tests in reading, writing, math, and other areas of the basic primary college curriculum).
- A center or secondary college instructor whom is new to the career is extremely qualified if the instructor also
- holds at minimum a bachelor’s level; and
- features demonstrated a high level of competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by
- moving a rigorous state scholastic subject test in each of the educational subjects in which the teacher teaches (which may consist of a passing level of performance on a state-required licensing or certification test or tests in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches); or
- successful conclusion, in each of the academic topics in which the teacher teaches, of an educational major, a graduate degree, course work comparable to an undergraduate academic major, or advanced credentialing or certification.
- Center, elementary, or second college instructor whom is not new to the profession is highly competent if the instructor also
- keeps at least a bachelor’s degree; and
- meets the applicable requirements of middle, elementary, or second college instructor who is new to the career; or
- demonstrates competence in all the academic topics in which the instructor shows based on a large objective uniform state standard of analysis that
- is set by the state for both grade-appropriate educational topic matter knowledge and teaching skills;
- is aligned with challenging state scholastic pupil and content educational achievement standards and created in consultation with core content experts, instructors, principals, and college administrators;
- provides coherent, objective information about the teacher’s attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches;
- is used uniformly to all instructors in the same scholastic subject and the same grade level throughout the state;
- takes into consideration, but is not based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject;
- is made available to the public upon request; and may involve objective, numerous steps of teacher competency.
Is the college at which I instruct a low-income college?
Each year, the U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of low-income elementary and secondary schools. To find out if a college is categorized as a low-income school, check our online database for the year(s) you've got been employed as an instructor. Concerns about the inclusion or omission of a particular college must be directed to the state education company contact in the state where the school is located and maybe not to the U.S. Department of Education.
What if we teach at an educational institution?
If you teach at an educational solution agency, your training service may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying solution at an eligible education service agency performed after the 2007–08 academic year.
If you have a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan system you might be eligible for loan termination for full-time teaching at a low-income college, or for teaching in certain subject areas. You can also qualify for deferment for these qualifying training solutions. Check with the school that made your Federal Perkins Loan for more information.
You qualify for termination (release) of up to 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have taught full-time in a general public or nonprofit primary or secondary school system as a
- instructor in a college serving pupils from low-income families; or
- special education teacher, including instructors of infants, young children, kids, or childhood with disabilities; or
- instructor in the areas of math, science, international languages, or bilingual training, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state training institution to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.
Who is considered a teacher?
A teacher is somebody who provides people direct classroom teaching, or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting, or educational solutions directly associated to classroom teaching (for instance, college librarian or guidance counselor).
You don't need to be certified or certified to receive cancellation benefits. Nevertheless, your employing college must consider you to be a full-time professional for the purposes of salary, tenure, your retirement benefits, etc. If you are researcher, supervisor, administrator, or curriculum specialist, you are not considered a teacher unless you primarily provide personal and direct academic services to pupils.
Just how long must I teach?
You must teach full-time for a full scholastic year or its equivalent. There isn't any requirement that you must teach a given quantity of hours a time to qualify as a full-time instructor; the employing school is responsible for making that choice.
An “academic year or its equivalent” for cancellation purposes is defined as one full college year or two half-years that are from different college years. The two half-years must be consecutive and full, excluding summer sessions, and must generally fall within a 12-month duration.
Training Part-time at Several Schools
You can have your loan canceled if you're simultaneously teaching part-time in two or more schools if an official at one of the schools where you taught certifies which you taught full-time for a full academic year.
Teaching at a Private School
Your loan can be canceled for services performed in a private college if the private college has established its nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and if the school is providing elementary and/or secondary education according to state law.
Training at a Preschool or Prekindergarten Program
Your loan can be canceled just if the state considers such a system to be a part of its primary training system. A low-income-school-directory designation that includes prekindergarten or kindergarten does not suffice for a state determination of program eligibility.
Teaching at Low-income Schools
A cancellation based on training in a school serving individuals from low-income families will be granted just if you taught in an eligible college as determined by the state training institution.
Every 12 months, the U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of low-income elementary and secondary schools. To find out if a college is categorized as a low-income school, check our online database for the year(s) you have been used as a teacher. Questions about the inclusion or omission of a specific college must be directed to the state teaching institution contact in the state where the school is found and maybe not to the U.S. Department of Education.
All secondary and primary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)—or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract with BIE—qualify as schools serving low-income students.
NOTE: If you've got had a portion of your loan canceled for teaching at a low-income primary or second college in one single year, you can continue to have portions of your loan canceled for teaching at that college also if it's perhaps not listed as a low-income school in later years. Under certain circumstances, the organization that holds your Perkins Loan may permit retroactive termination if you can demonstrate that you qualified for termination in a previous 12 months. Nevertheless, the organization may perhaps not refund repayments made during such a retroactive period.
Teaching at an Educational Service Agency
If you teach at an academic service agency, your teaching service may qualify for cancellation if the period includes qualifying service that includes August 14, 2008, or starts on or after that date.
Teaching Special Education
You must have an official at the public or other nonprofit primary or secondary school certify that you are a full-time special education teacher of infants, toddlers, kids, or childhood with disabilities either on the Federal Perkins Loan deferment/cancellation kind or on an official letter from the school bearing the school's seal or letterhead.
If you offer one of the following services, you qualify as a teacher only if you are certified, certified, or registered by the proper state education agency for that location in which you are offering related unique educational services, and the services you provide are part of the academic curriculum for handicapped kids.
The services are
- Language and speech pathology and audiology,
- real therapy,
- occupational therapy,
- psychological and counseling services, and
- recreational treatment.
Teaching in a Designated Subject Shortage Area
This cancellation is based on full-time teaching if there is a shortage of teachers in your subject area. Each year the state teaching agency determines any subject shortage areas in the primary and secondary schools within the state. Check with your local school system or state education agency to discover if your subject area is designated. If you train full-time in mathematics, science, international language, or bilingual education, you qualify for cancellation also if the state has not designated one of these subject areas as a shortage area. For a borrower to be considered as teaching in a field of expertise, the majority of classes taught must be in that field of expertise.
How do I apply teacher cancellation?
You must request the proper forms from the office that administers the Federal Perkins Loan program at the school that holds your loan. You must also supply any documentation the school demands to show that you qualify for cancellation of your Perkins Loan. It is the school’s responsibility to figure out whether you qualify, and the school’s choice cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education. Schools may not cancel any section of a loan for teaching services you performed either before the date the loan was disbursed or during the enrollment duration covered by the loan.
How much can be canceled?
If you are eligible for cancellation under any of the categories listed above, up to 100 percent of the loan may be canceled for teaching service, in the following increments:
- 15 percent canceled per year for the second and very first years of service
- 20 percent canceled for the fourth and third years
- 30 percent canceled for the fifth year
Each quantity canceled per year includes the interest that accrued during the year.