STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Bill Introduced

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced the STEM K to Career Act that would create a pathway to success for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students and professionals. If passed, the legislation would make changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) and would “provide federal student loan relief to STEM teachers, provide tax credits to certain employers that provide internships or apprenticeships in the STEM field, and amend the federal Work Study program to offer more STEM opportunities.”

 

Unfortunately, the legislation does not include loan forgiveness for principals or administrators that work in STEM schools or in high poverty schools with STEM programs. However, the bill could be changed to include loan forgiveness for all school leaders in order to incentivize principals and school administrators to stay in low-income STEM schools.

 

According to the press release, the legislation would make the following changes to STEM policy:

  1. Provides federal loan forgiveness to STEM elementary and secondary education teachers. To qualify, the teacher must work in a not-for-profit low-income school as defined by the Department of Education.
  2. Permanently extends the $250 tax credit for teachers’ school supplies and adds an additional tax credit for STEM education supplies for teachers of up to $250.
  3. Provides employers with less than 500 employees a tax credit of up to $2,000 for each paid STEM intern employed.
  4. Provides employers with less than 500 employees a tax credit of up to $2,000 for each new STEM apprentice, $3,000 for a STEM mid-career or unemployed apprentice, and $5,000 in the case that a STEM apprentice is hired by the company for at least a year following the Department of Labor approved apprenticeship.
  5. Requires schools participating in the Federal Work Study program to use at least 7 percent of work study funds to compensate students working in STEM jobs.

 

Source: Bernstein Strategy Group