Bill Would Help Teachers Pay Back Loans

Kevin Ray has been a special education teacher for 4 years.

“I felt compelled to go into education,” he says.

But Ray agreed to teach special ed, a field where teachers are hard to find, in exchange for his student loans being forgiven. It was a program called “Best In Class.”

“Special Ed., math and science, are critical needs for our state.In order to get teachers in those fields, they were enticing us with our loans being forgiven,” said Ray.

The problems is..the federal program ran out of money. Now Ray…and his wife….also a special ed teacher in Anderson County, are left with loans they say they have no way of paying back.

“At the current salary level, I’m on right now, I’m not able to make the $850 payment. That’s a house payment for us,” said Ray.

House Bill 480 could provide some relief in more manageable payment plans. And there’s even language requesting Governor Beshear to use federal stimulus money to help the more than 4,000 teachers pay back their loans.

“I would hope that…where we answered Kentucky’s call to help become special ed, math and science teachers, that they would answer our call for help now,” said Ray.

The legislation could help teachers who entered the best in class loan forgiveness program prior to June 2008.

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