Carney pushes loan forgiveness for teachers

DSU engineering graduate student Andrew Voshell of Felton shows Gov. Carney a sample of material that University researcher are analyzing as part of an Air Force research project. (DSU photo/Carlos Holmes)

DOVER — Gov. John Carney touted a proposed student loan forgiveness program for teachers in high-need schools Monday, one day before legislation that would create such an initiative may be introduced.

The program would save teachers in high-poverty schools up to $10,000 over five years, according to Gov. Carney. The measure could be filed as soon as today.

It was mentioned briefly in the governor’s January State of the State.

Gov. Carney made the pitch for the idea Monday as he toured Delaware State University. Meeting with a few dozen aspiring teachers, the governor laid out his plan to excuse teachers from some loans in an effort to keep educators in the state, particularly in certain locations and subjects.

Dr. Michael Gitcho explains his Alzheimer’s research to Gov. John Carney. (DSU photo/Carlos Holmes)

“We know that the most important ingredient for student success is the quality of the teachers in the front of the classroom, and this is a way of getting those teachers in the front of those classrooms and keeping them there,” he said.

Gov. John Carney explains his loan repayment initiative to a group of DSU Education majors. (DSU photo/Carlos Holmes)

In-demand fields it is expected to cover include science, technology, math and special education. William Henry Middle School and East Dover Elementary School are likely to be among the schools that fit the criteria.

Educators would not have to be new college graduates to qualify.

“It could be for somebody who’s currently teaching and moved from one school to another,” Gov. Carney said.

In his State of the State, Gov. Carney referred to teachers as responsible for the “state’s most important job  —  working on the front lines to prepare Delaware children for the future.”

The initiative received a warm welcome from Delaware State University education majors, some of whom indicated it would offer incentive to stay in Delaware after graduation.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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