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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:   43

 

POLICY CODE:  GFCD

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools

                        Elementary and Secondary School Principals

 

FROM:            J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:            February 21, 2003

SUBJECT:      Teacher Shortage Areas for Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) Deferment and Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Reduction of Teacher Obligation for School Year 2002 – 2003.

 

 

            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; or

 

·        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 of Education that the entire State of Maine be designated as a teacher shortage area for Teachers of Students with Disabilities (ages 0-5, and Grades K-3, K-8, and 7-12); Teachers of Foreign Languages (Grades K-12); Teachers of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics (Grades 7-12); Speech and Language Clinicians (Grades K-12); Teachers of Computer/Technology (Grades K-12) and Teachers of Technology Education/Industrial Arts (Grades K-12).  This recommendation was accepted, and the designation was made by the Secretary of Education for School Year 2002 – 2003.  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 Students with Disabilities (ages 0-5 or Grades K-3, K-8 and 7-12); a Teacher of Foreign Languages (Grades K-12); a Teacher of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics (Grades 7-12); a Speech and Language Clinician (Grades K-12); a Teacher of Computer/Technology (Grades K-12) or a Teacher of Technology Education/Industrial Arts (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 borrower’s 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 United States Department of Education web site http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/Students/repayment/teachers/stafford.html or 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    

 

David Johnson

Program Officer

Maine Education Assistance Division

Finance Authority of Maine

119 State House Station   

Augusta, ME  04333

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

davidj@famemaine.com

 

 

Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program

 

Trisha Malloy

Program Officer

Maine Education Assistance Division

Finance Authority of Maine

119 State House Station

Augusta, ME  04333

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

trisha@famemaine.com

 

 

General Information

Judith Malcolm

Education Policy Director

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME  04333-0023

624-6842

judith.malcolm@maine.gov

 

JDA/JM/dcm