Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Loan Forgiveness to Expand Teacher Pool

July 11, 2019 by Elin Johnson

A bill with bipartisan support in the Wisconsin legislature could expand the eligibility for loan forgiveness for participants in a program aimed at growing the number of minority teachers in the state.

Assembly Bill 51 has already received the unanimous support of the state Assembly’s Colleges and Universities Committee whose members endorsed its potential to close the diversity gap in the Wisconsin teaching pool.

And it has now received a first reading by the state Senate’s Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families.

Lawmaker’s previously sought to boost the number of African-American, Native American, Latino and Southeast Asian student teachers in its schools through the state’s Minority Teacher Loan Program, but the program has had few takers in recent years.

The loans, which ranged from $250 to $10,000, are available to undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors, but last year, only one student applied.

The Assembly bill is a bid to make the loans more enticing by offering out the possibility that they’ll ultimately be forgiven.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 95% of teachers are white compared to 69% of school children that are white. 

According to several studies, minority students perform better in classrooms when they have a minority teacher that looks like them. 

African-Americans make up Wisconsin’s largest minority at 10%.

The Wisconsin legislature did not stop with Bill 51 when it came to making changes to the state’s education system.

The state is facing a teacher shortage and a recent study suggested one reason why: Wisconsin teachers are paid about $53,583 annually, which is around $1,000 below the national average.

While state lawmakers did not move to increase teacher salaries, they are trying to make the certification process easier for future teachers. 

One of the bills that passed the Assembly this session would make it easier for teachers with out-of-state licenses to obtain a license in Wisconsin.

Another would do away with the requirement for special education teachers to pass the Foundations of Reading Test, which tests prospective teachers for literacy competence and acquisition. 

Both bills have been referred to the state Senate where their prospects are uncertain.

Education

School Voucher Push Taps Frustration Over Distance Learning
Education
School Voucher Push Taps Frustration Over Distance Learning

ATLANTA (AP) — With her children struggling in many classes last spring, Kelli Rivera became so frustrated with how her suburban Atlanta district was handling the coronavirus pandemic that she withdrew them to home-school them. They're back in public school and mostly attending class in person.... Read More

IAVA Protecting Veterans from Predatory Schools
Veterans
IAVA Protecting Veterans from Predatory Schools
February 22, 2021
by TWN Staff

NEW YORK - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America kicked off veteran education week this morning, continuing a six-week campaign to highlight the priority issues of its members. Over the course of this week, IAVA is highlighting its advocacy efforts to expand and protect veteran... Read More

How COVID Has Affected Public Opinion on Higher Education
Opinion Polls
How COVID Has Affected Public Opinion on Higher Education
February 17, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Attitudes toward American colleges and universities may have started evolving before the pandemic set in, but COVID-19 truly upended the higher ed system in ways that are sure to have an impact for years to come.  Through a series of mid-pandemic public opinion research... Read More

Biden Reframes His Goal on Reopening of Elementary Schools
Education
Biden Reframes His Goal on Reopening of Elementary Schools

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Joe Biden is promising a majority of elementary schools will be open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office, restating his goal after his administration came under fire when aides said schools would be considered... Read More

CDC Releases Guidelines for Reopening Schools
In The News
CDC Releases Guidelines for Reopening Schools
February 12, 2021
by TWN Staff

ATLANTA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its long-awaited guidance on safely reopening schools, emphasizing that it is"critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible." The top recommendations are what one would expect - the universal wearing... Read More

Report Shows Increased Higher Education Attainment Over Time
Education
Report Shows Increased Higher Education Attainment Over Time
February 11, 2021
by Sara Wilkerson

Earlier this week, the Census Bureau released a report brief that shows higher education attainment levels have increased for Americans over the past 15 years. Data gathered for the report was sourced from the American Community Survey, an ongoing survey initiative under the Census Bureau that... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top