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Over 4,000 Teachers Could Be Facing Extra Loan Payments

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

More than four-thousand Kentucky teachers could be facing some extra loan payments after federal funding cuts.

Those cuts include a program that helps teachers in critical need areas like math and science get more training without the extra cost.

Some say students will also be feeling the pinch.

Krystal Watts recently obtained her masters degree and Rank One teaching status to improve her math teaching at Perry Central.

“It was just important, coming back to my home town, and just kind of giving back to the school here what I received when I attended here, high school,” Krystal Watts said.

Rank One represents teachers with the highest skill set, but it comes with a hefty price tag. The Best in Class loan forgiveness program that made it possible for Watts to achieve Rank One is now discontinuing benefits on loans made after this coming July first, and limiting benefits on existing loans. The reason? Federal funding cuts.

“I took out loans of, I guess around 15,000 and I was counting on this to pay it all back. But if it doesn't pay it back I'm going to have to start paying roughly 300 to 400 dollars a month,” Brandon Hibbard said.

Hibbard and Watts say they know many other aspiring teachers hoping to achieve Rank One status and bring their talents to schools in the mountains, but without the promise of loan forgiveness they may be forced to rethink their plans.

The amount of cutbacks on existing loan benefits is an equation loan officials are still trying to solve, but Watts says every little bit counts.

On Wednesday, students and other supporters of Kentucky universities will be rallying in Frankfort against state education budget cuts.


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