Bill would help pay teachers’ student loans to ease shortages

Capital News Service
LANSING — To fight an ongoing teacher shortage, a Michigan legislator wants to track the problem and help new teachers pay down their student loans. Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland, has introduced a bill that would offer teachers working in shortage areas up to $1,000 a year for five years to repay qualified educational loans. The bill, pending in the House Education Reform Committee, would also require the superintendent of public instruction to track shortages across the state and report regularly to legislators. “I don’t think this bill can solve the teacher shortage, but I’m sure it’s going to help people to get re-energized,” Kosowski said, adding that the incentive might encourage more teachers to apply for jobs in areas with shortages. For the current school year, the state identified five major categories of teacher shortages: special education, industrial technology, mathematics, world languages and occupational education.

Too many teachers? Not enough? Both

Capital News Service
LANSING – The Department of Education is working on solutions to Michigan’s teacher shortage. A number of factors led to the K-12 education system shortage, the state superintendent of public instruction, Michael Flanagan said. These include the poor economy and recent graduates leaving to teach out of state, but what some people may not consider is that college students are learning to teach in subjects that don’t need more teachers. “There are 32 teacher prep programs in Michigan,” Flanagan said. “It’s important that those schools give sound career guidance.