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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 65

 

POLICY CODE: GFCD

 

TO: Superintendents of Schools

Elementary and Secondary School Principals

 

FROM: J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE: April 9, 2001

 

SUBJECT: Teacher Shortage Areas for Federal Stafford and Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) Deferment and Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Reduction of Teacher Obligation for School Year 2000 - 2001

 

The United States Department of Education through regulations governing the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program and the Federal Stafford Loan and SLS Programs, annually addresses the designation of teacher shortage areas under those programs. Under provisions of the regulations, Chief State School Officers shall determine teacher shortage areas in each state and recommend to the Secretary of Education that these areas be officially designated.

 

Teacher shortage areas are defined in regulations by the following categories:

 

       A geographic region of the state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers;

 

       A state-wide area of shortage of elementary or secondary school teachers in specific grade levels;

 

       A state-wide area of shortage of elementary or secondary school teachers in specific academic,

instructional, subject matter or discipline classifications.

 

The third category has been utilized for the selection of shortage areas in Maine and it was recommended to the Secretary that the entire State of Maine be designated as a teacher shortage area for Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Grades 7-12), French (Grades K-12), Spanish (Grades K-12), Teachers of Students with Disabilities (Grades K-8) and (Grades 9-12), Speech and Language Clinicians (Grades K-12) and Computer/Technology (Grades K-12). This recommendation was accepted and the designation was made by the Secretary for academic year 2000 2001. Different shortage areas may be determined in subsequent years.


 

This federal designation of teacher shortage areas in Maine enables a borrower who had no outstanding Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan on July 1, 1987 but who had an outstanding FFEL Program loan on July 1, 1993 and is a teacher of Chemistry, Physics, or Mathematics (Grades 7-12), French (Grades K-12), Spanish (Grades K-12), Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Grades K-8) and (Grades 9-12), Speech and Language Clinicians (Grades K-12), or Computer/Technology (Grades K-12) employed full-time in a public or non-profit private elementary or secondary school to qualify for deferment of loan repayment under the Federal Stafford and Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) programs anytime within the life of the borrowers loan(s).

 

In addition, this designation of shortage areas as noted above allows Paul Douglas scholars to qualify for the reduction of teaching obligation under the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program.

 

Please refer teachers who are Federal Stafford/SLS borrowers who have questions concerning their loans, including the teacher shortage area deferment, to the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4FED-AID and refer Paul Douglas Scholars to the State agency that awarded the scholarship.

 

Information on the process to be followed to implement these provisions can be obtained from the following people:

 

Federal Stafford and SLS Loan Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program

 

David Johnson Rochelle Bridgham

Program Officer Program Officer

Maine Education Assistance Division Maine Education Assistance Division

Finance Authority of Maine Finance Authority of Maine

119 State House Station 119 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333 Augusta, ME 04333

Tel: 623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734 Tel: 623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734

 

General Information

 

Judith Malcolm

Education Policy Director

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Tel: 624-6842

 

 

 

JDA/JM/dcm