AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A PILOT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE FORGIVABLE LOANS FOR TEACHERS IN CERTAIN SCHOOLS TO OBTAIN NATIONAL BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS CERTIFICATION.
Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to establish a pilot program for forgivable loans to teachers employed in a qualifying public school during the 2021-23 fiscal biennium to finance the participation fee cost for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Defines public school to include charter schools, regional schools, and schools operated by the State or UNC. Defines qualifying public school to mean a public school that is (1) identified as a low-performing school; (2) identified as an innovative school; or (3) enrolled a student body in the school year prior to the teacher's application consisting of at least 10% of students identified as at-risk, as specified.
Requires teachers to apply to DPI during the fiscal biennium, and directs DPI to develop criteria and guidelines for program administration including four specified requirements, such as priority based on school need, and loan forgiveness for a teacher who completes the NBPTS certification process, regardless if the teacher actually receives certification, if the teacher remains at the qualifying public school for at least four years from the date the teacher completes the process. Provides for loan forgiveness for teachers who are unable to remain teaching in a qualifying public school for at least four years from the date of certification or who do not complete the certification process due to death, newly acquired disability, illness, the death or catastrophic illness of an immediate family member, parental leave, or other extraordinary circumstances, as specified.
Requires DPI to annually report to the specified NCGA committee beginning January 15, 2022, on the impact of the program, including specified content, for each year in which appropriated funds remain available. Appropriates $400,000 from the General Fund to DPI for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years; requires the funds to remain until expended.
Effective July 1, 2021.
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