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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:   72

 

POLICY CODE:  GFCD

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools / Private School Administrators

                       

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:            January 23, 2004

 

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 2003 - 2004

 

*****Please Forward to Elementary and Secondary School Principals*****

 

            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-French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, German (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); Teachers of Gifted/Talented (Grades K-12); Teachers of English as a Second Language (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 2003 - 2004.  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-French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, German (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); a Teacher of Gifted/Talented (Grades K-12); a Teacher of English as a Second Language (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://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/cancelstaff.jsp?tab=repaying.htm

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:

           

For information regarding processing requests for Federal Stafford and SLS Loan Deferment, and Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program Reduction contact:

 

Ann Reed

Program Officer

Maine Education Assistance Division

Finance Authority of Maine

94 State House Station

PO Box 949

Augusta, ME  04330

Tel:  623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734 Ext 271

Fax:  207-623-0095

anner@famemaine.com

 

For information regarding Teacher Shortage Designations contact:

 

Judith Malcolm

Education Policy Director

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME  04333-0023

Tel:  207-624-6842

judith.malcolm@maine.gov

 

SAG/JM/dcm