PA 14-21—SB 18

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER EDUCATOR INCENTIVE PROGRAM

SUMMARY: This act redesigns a teacher loan reimbursement program administered by the Office of Higher Education (OHE) as an incentive grant and loan reimbursement program for college and university students studying to be English language learner (ELL) teachers. Specifically, the act:

1. extends eligibility for the program to undergraduates enrolled in teacher preparation programs, rather than to certified teachers;

2. removes prior law's (a) cap on the number of participants and (b) employment commitment requirements;

3. revises eligibility requirements and fund distribution;

4. reduces the maximum amount of funds a recipient may receive by $5,000 (from $25,000 to $20,000); and

5. changes the name of the program from the “English language learner educator loan reimbursement program” to the “English language learner educator incentive program.

The act maintains the requirements that the program (1) benefit individuals seeking credentials as bilingual education teachers or teachers of English to speakers of other languages and (2) be administered within available appropriations.

It also removes OHE's authority to adopt implementing regulations relating to the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2014

PROGRAM COMPARISON

Table 1 compares the program under prior law with the redesigned program in the act.

Table 1: Program Comparison

 

ELL educator loan reimbursement program

(prior law)

ELL educator

incentive program

(the act)

Eligible participants

Up to 20 teachers

Unlimited number of undergraduate students

Eligibility requirements

Loan reimbursement. On or after May 1, 2012, a person had to do the following to receive loan reimbursements:

1. (a) graduate from a Connecticut higher education teacher preparation program and complete state teaching certification requirements or (b) hold a teaching certificate and complete a Connecticut endorsement program in bilingual education or the teaching of English to speakers of other languages,

2. obtain one of these endorsements if he or she had not already done so,

3. be employed by Connecticut public schools in a teaching position that requires one of these endorsements, and

4. make a written commitment to remain employed in such a position for at least five years after receiving the endorsement.

Grants. On or after July 1, 2014, a person must do the following to receive grants:

1. be enrolled at any four-year Connecticut college or university in the final two years of a teacher preparation program that leads to teacher certification and

2. pursue an endorsement in bilingual education or the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.

Loan reimbursement. A person who receives grants under the incentive program may receive loan reimbursements upon graduation, if he or she teaches in a Connecticut public school in position that requires one of these endorsements.

Maximum potential amount available

$25,000 (five years of teaching at $5,000 per year in loan reimbursements)

$20,000 (two years as an undergraduate at $5,000 per year in grants, plus four years of teaching at $2,500 per year in loan reimbursements)

Employment commitment

Recipients must fulfill the five-year teaching commitment in one of these endorsement areas or repay at least 20% of the reimbursement for each unmet year of employment in a manner determined by the OHE executive director.

Not required

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