(STATEHOUSE) - A bill that could help some Indiana teachers pay back part of their college student loans is on its way to Governor Pence's desk, though one financial aid counselor says he isn't sure how much good it will do.
The bill from Rep. Justin Moed (D, Indianapolis) would have taxpayers pay up to $9,000 in student loan debt for high-performing teachers in science, technology, engineering or math fields. Teachers would have to graduate in the top 20-percent of their high school classes and carry a 3.5 grade-point average in college to qualify.
"The hope is not only to get our best and brightest to stay in Indiana, but also try to get them to take a teaching role (in a specialized field) in our classrooms," said Moed. Teachers would also have to complete three years of teaching to be eligible for the payments.
Kurt Supe, co-founder of Indy College Funding, says $9,000 is a drop in the student loan debt bucket for many students.
"When you look at the cost of a state school like Ball State, where a lot of teachers go, five years at Ball State is $100,000."
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