Future educators, particularly those from historically disadvantaged communities, need greater financial support as they pursue a career as an educator. Tuition has greatly outpaced inflation and income growth in Washington with tuition and fees growing an average of 9.5% a year over the past decade!
Many future educators are unsure about their ability to pay for college, casting doubt on their ability to enter and complete an educator preparation program. Current Federal programs provide loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in high poverty schools, which is a big step forward in easing concerns and anxieties that surround paying for college. However, quality educators are needed in a number of specialty and shortage areas that are not be covered by supports given to high poverty schools. Local communities are currently faced with Washington can further encourage entry into the teaching profession and address critical shortages by providing loan forgiveness opportunities for specified terms of service in critical shortage areas to educators that do not qualify for federal forgiveness programs.