HB 261

Sponsor
Session
Regular Session 2018
Title
Education, Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program (AMSTEP) created, ACHE to administer, loan repayment awards to eligible public school math and science teachers in underserved areas of state
Description

Existing law does not provide a financial incentive for teachers who earn certification in mathematics or science and accept teaching positions in those areas of the state with shortages of math or science teachers, or both

This bill would establish the Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program, administered through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, to provide loan repayment awards to eligible public school teachers of math or science, or both, in those areas of the state determined to have qualified teacher shortages by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education

To establish the Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program to provide loan repayment awards to eligible public school teachers; to provide for administration by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education; to provide eligibility standards; and to provide for the determination of qualified teacher shortage areas by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education.

Subjects
Education
View Original PDF: HB 261 - Introduced - PDF

Existing law does not provide a financial incentive for teachers who earn certification in mathematics or science and accept teaching positions in those areas of the state with shortages of math or science teachers, or both

This bill would establish the Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program, administered through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, to provide loan repayment awards to eligible public school teachers of math or science, or both, in those areas of the state determined to have qualified teacher shortages by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education

To establish the Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program to provide loan repayment awards to eligible public school teachers; to provide for administration by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education; to provide eligibility standards; and to provide for the determination of qualified teacher shortage areas by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education.

Section 1

The purpose of the Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program (AMSTEP) is twofold: (1) To encourage individuals to enroll in and complete programs leading to Alabama certification in mathematics or science. (2) To improve the educational system in Alabama by encouraging those who complete the program to accept math or science teaching positions in Alabama public schools, preferably in public school systems where the shortage of math or science teachers, or both, is most acute.

Section 2

For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (1) APPROVED INSTITUTION. A state-supported institution of higher education or a private nonprofit institution of higher education that satisfies all of the following: a. Is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. b. Is approved by the State Board of Education or the State Department of Education to prepare teachers of secondary math or science, or both. c. Is eligible to receive Title IV federal student aid program funds. d. Maintains its primary headquarters in Alabama. (2) COMMISSION. The Alabama Commission on Higher Education. (3) ELIGIBLE APPLICANT. A person who satisfies the criteria set out in this act and is found to be eligible by rules adopted by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. (4) PROGRAM. The Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program created by this act and administered by the commission that provides loan repayments to a teacher with a valid Alabama professional educator certificate endorsed in math or science, who teaches math or science full-time in the Alabama public school system. (5) SCIENCE. Biology, chemistry, physics, and general science. (6) YEAR. A school year that shall be divided into fall and spring semesters. The term does not mean calendar, fiscal, or scholastic year.

Section 3

(a) The Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program shall be administered by the commission, which may adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the program. (b) The commission shall adopt standards for awarding loan repayments to an Alabama public school teacher who satisfies all of the following: (1) Has graduated from an approved institution. (2) Holds a valid Alabama professional educator certificate endorsed in math or science. (3) Is teaching in an Alabama public school full-time in the field of math or science. (4) May be eligible to receive additional funds for teaching math or science in a public school in a geographic area with acute teacher shortages in math or science, or both.

Section 4

(a) To be eligible for the base program of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per semester, an applicant shall satisfy all of the following: (1) Be a graduate of a State Board of Education or State Department of Education approved program in math or science, at the baccalaureate or master's level, from an approved institution leading to an initial secondary professional educator certificate endorsed in math or science. A teacher who only earns a passing score on the Praxis test in math or science to add a certificate endorsement for math or science, and who has not completed an entire approved program, does not satisfy this requirement. (2) Holds a valid Alabama professional educator certificate endorsed in secondary math or science, or both. (3) Teaches math or science full-time in an Alabama public school district. (4) Is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States. (5) Has been a resident of Alabama for at least 12 months before the application deadline and provides documentation proving a permanent connection to the State of Alabama. The commission shall accept any one of the following as proof of residency: a. A current valid Alabama driver's license. b. A current valid Alabama vehicle registration. c. A current valid Alabama voter registration card. (6) Has outstanding federal student loans, subsidized or unsubsidized. (7) Satisfies additional continuing eligibility criteria established by the commission. (b) In order to receive a supplement pursuant to this act, in addition to the criteria listed above, a recipient shall also teach math or science, or both, in a geographic area within the state with an acute teacher shortage in math or science, or both, as identified by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education.

Section 5

(a) The program shall be used to provide a loan repayment for federal student loans in the following amounts: (1) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) per year, or two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per semester worked, for a maximum of four consecutive years for a teacher with a valid Alabama professional educator certificate endorsed in secondary math or science who graduated from a teacher education program at an approved institution after the 2018 spring semester term and is teaching in an Alabama public school. (2) An additional two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per year, or one thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($1,250) per semester worked, for a maximum of four consecutive years for a teacher who satisfies all criteria listed in subsection (a) of Section 4 and who also is teaching math or science in a public school in an area of the state with acute teacher shortages in math or science, or both, in a geographic area within the state with an acute teacher shortage in math or science, or both, as identified by the commission in consultation with the State Department of Education. (b) Loan repayment award recipients shall reapply for the program annually. (c) Loan repayment awards shall be distributed directly to the recipient teacher in two disbursements during the applicable year: One disbursement after January 1 and the second disbursement after June 1. Each recipient shall provide documentation from the employing school district as proof that he or she has taught for a semester. If the award amount is larger than the outstanding loan balance, the award amount shall be reduced to the amount of the loan balance. (d) The requirements of this act are contingent upon available funding for the program. (e) The commission shall determine the necessary procedures for awarding loan repayments if the number of eligible applicants and recipients exceeds available funding. (f) The recipient shall notify the commission in writing of any change in status within 30 days after the change. Failure to notify the commission of a change in status shall affect future eligibility. All of the following constitute a change in status: (1) A change in name. (2) A change in residence. (3) A change in employment status. (g) To receive a loan repayment check pursuant to this act, a teacher shall register online with the Comptroller. (h) A loan repayment check is considered income by the Internal Revenue Service, and recipients shall be made aware of that fact. (i) Any funds appropriated to the program shall be nonreverting. (j) Additional funds shall be made available to teachers who also teach math or science in areas of the state where the shortages of math or science teachers, or both, is most severe. The commission, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall determine which school systems in the state have the greatest shortage areas.

Section 6

This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

No articles found.
Action Date Chamber Action
March 28, 2018HForwarded to Governor on March 28, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. on March 28, 2018.
March 28, 2018HAssigned Act No. 2018-504.
March 28, 2018HClerk of the House Certification
March 28, 2018HEnrolled
March 28, 2018SSignature Requested
March 28, 2018SConcurred in Second House Amendment
March 28, 2018HLovvorn motion to Concur In and Adopt adopted Roll Call 1082
March 28, 2018HConcurrence Requested
March 22, 2018SMotion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 1086
March 22, 2018SColeman-Madison motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 1085
March 22, 2018SFinance and Taxation Education Amendment Offered
March 22, 2018SThird Reading Passed
March 15, 2018SRead for the second time and placed on the calendar 1 amendment
March 1, 2018SRead for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Finance and Taxation Education
February 27, 2018HMotion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 521
February 27, 2018HThird Reading Passed
January 25, 2018HRead for the second time and placed on the calendar
January 18, 2018HRead for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Ways and Means Education
2018-03-28
Chamber: House
Result: Passed
2018-03-22
Chamber: Senate
Result: Passed
2018-03-22
Chamber: Senate
Result: Passed
2018-02-27
Chamber: House
Result: Passed