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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  • by Cynthia Location: Edmonson on Mar 5, 2008 at 09:55 AM
    I also was counting on having the loan repayment plan so I could finish my Rank I. I would not have started if I had known the debts would not going to be repaid. I take care of a sick husband and three children on my salary and now I will have these extra bills to pay. I think it is very unfair to stop this program. This was for people who are trying taking to better themselves, the community, and the ecomony. Teachers do not get the benefits that come to many other people in the workplace. My friends all have better benefits, more chance for advancement, and more encouragement from their employees than I have seen as a teacher. I have taught for over twenty years and this was the first program I have ever seen that really helped teachers out. I am just sick about it.
  • by Retired Educator Location: E. KY on Feb 21, 2008 at 03:51 AM
    Yes, Denny, we are the ones who come out of college with massive debt, work for little pay and no rewards to teach "your" drug addicted brats and suffer abuse from the likes of you!! We work long and hard hours when you are probably having fun or too drugged up to care!! I am now retired and having to work part-time to meet the basics of life...And yes,I paid back my loans just like everyone else!! It's very little appreciation we receive for what we do. I was totally dedicated to teaching and spent a good deal of my "generous" salary on my students and classroom...In retrospect, I probably should have saved it for my retirement when I really am hurting....Oh, do you get a welfare check every month...sounds like you are one of those!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 20, 2008 at 09:36 AM
    Teachers work very hard for their money. We were promised this loan repayment by the student loan people and are counting on it to make ends meet. Education is never going to improve if the govener continues to cut our funding. I wish I would have never voted for him!
  • by Heather Location: Comeens on Feb 20, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    I think it's crazy that they are trying to cut the budgets for schools. I would love to see who ever made the other two comments try and teach. It's a tough but rewarding job and we are definityly not over paid!!! Teachers are doing the best they can with what they have to teach!
  • by Bill on Feb 20, 2008 at 04:23 AM
    Pay it back the best way you can.Our teachers are way over paid now.For a job they are not doing very well.This is just another needless money sucking program.
  • by DENNY Location: HAZARD on Feb 19, 2008 at 07:27 PM


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