“We are giving our children a chance to succeed,” State Senator Chris Brown said as the Senate passed his bill which would create a loan redemption program for teachers who teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in “low performing schools.”
Sen. Chris Brown’s bill to create a loan redemption program for teach who teach STEM in “low performing schools” has been approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“We have a generation of children who need the skills to thrive in our modern economy and we have a generation of college graduates struggling to pay off student loans, so we have an opportunity to help our families by giving our children a chance to succeed while lifting our graduates out of crushing student loan debt,” said Brown, who noted the U.S. Department of Labor projects that STEM-related jobs will grow by nearly ten percent over the next decade with a median salary of $84,880.
Under the bipartisan bill, S-1832, a teacher who obtains initial employment to teach in STEM subjects in NJ Department of Education designated “low performing school” may receive a loan redemption of up to 25% if that teacher remains at the school for four years, for a total amount not to exceed $20,000. The bill also establishes a tuition reimbursement program to provide reimbursement for a portion of the eligible tuition expenses incurred by a teacher who is completing a master’s degree or Ph.D. program in STEM.
Brown said the bill would provide opportunities in 12 schools throughout Atlantic County.
“I want to ensure we continue to attract more bright, motivated teachers to Atlantic County to inspire our kids to literally reach for the stars,” Brown said. “I believe the joy the teachers will experience as their students excel in STEM subjects will inspire the teachers to remain at these schools beyond their four-year obligation.”
The Atlantic County schools which would be eligible are: Buena Regional High School, Cedar Creek High School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex, Egg Harbor Community School, Egg Harbor Township High School, Jordan Road Elementary School, North Main Street Elementary School, Pleasantville Middle School, Texas Avenue, Washington Avenue Elementary School, Atlantic Community Charter, and Charter Tech.
The bill now heads to the Assembly for further consideration.