Some teachers across Montana will receive up to $12,000 in assistance over four years to help pay back their student loans.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced Friday that Montana is providing student loan repayment help to 169 teachers as an incentive to recruit teachers in needed fields to rural areas.
“It is important that we do what we can in this economy to keep good teachers in our rural schools, especially in areas like career and technical education and special education which are difficult to fill,” Juneau said.
“This program allows rural communities to attract and retain quality teachers, which is critical to the continued success of our students.”
The teachers were selected from 374 applicants and will get student loan repayment assistance of up to $3,000 a year for the next four years, for a total of up to $12,000. This is the fifth year of the program and $493,193 was awarded this year alone.
The 169 educators who received loan repayment help represent 109 different schools and three special education cooperatives.
The top identified shortage areas were special education, career and technical education, and mathematics. Other shortage areas included: music, science, speech/language pathologist, school counselor and world languages.
The greatest number of loan repayment assistance grants was given to special education teachers with 57 awardees and career and technical education teachers with 28 awardees.
Counties with the highest number of teachers receiving awards were Cascade County and Sanders County with 11 recipients each.