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Old 10-06-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,465,425 times
Reputation: 869

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I am a CO sped teacher and a colleague of mine told me today that she heard that there is such a shortage of teachers in the Katrina hit area that loan forgiveness is being offered...all of your student loan. I have been searching for any truth on this and can't find a word on it. The only thing I see is the LIFT program which is offered nationwide. Anyone know about this rumor?
Are highly needed teachers in the sped, math, science, ESL area being recruited with the promise that all of their student loans will be forgiven? All of it? At this point, I see it is rumor. Please tell me differently and where I can find info on it.
Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Illinois
17 posts, read 70,961 times
Reputation: 21
It's probably true, but you've got to keep in mind what kind of school/area you might get assigned to. Jobs in reputable schools are quickly filled whereas schools in impoverished areas struggle to get teachers. They become desperate and have to put a generous package together to find/retain teachers. When I graduated college, I was offered something like this but didn't take it. A girl I knew took it and got assigned to a junior high in the ghetto. She was called racial slurs, attacked, harassed, you name it. She quit. You really need to do your research on this and visit the area where you'd be working because the incentive might not be worth the trouble.

I've noticed alot of people choose to send their kids to Catholic schools here, if they can afford it, even if they are not Catholic. The public schools are horrible, especially in NOLA.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
1,743 posts, read 3,067,853 times
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Whether it's fact or rumor, do you really think you want to get into the war zone down there? Forget about personal safety in the ghetto schools; forget about even a modicum of discipline.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,465,425 times
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True. And I LOVE CO, love it, love it, love it. The only reason I would consider going to such an area is because of the amount of free money. DH and I put ourselves through college and grad school with three kids and no support from family so we both have a hefty amount of student loans. No complaining...very glad we had the opportunity to go to school and to recieve our degrees. Not every country in the world offers education like the U.S. Our student loans helped us pay bills, fix cars, pay for daycare, etc... and I can put up with being pissed on for a couple years for $185,000 of student debt to be wiped clean. Otherwise, we are looking at 25 years...which we will do with no complaints. The CO LIFT program will wipe a little bit out.
I have worked with students who are drug addicts, recovering addicts, gang members, adused and neglected students, and convicts. Do you think that the Katrina area is worse and how?
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:31 PM
 
67 posts, read 318,838 times
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You asked if the Katrina area is worse than all the things you mentioned...it is likely similar. Like the previous poster mentioned, the good districts don't have trouble getting teachers. Have you ever lived in an impoverished area in the south? I worked as a school counselor in the delta region of Mississippi. I have also lived and worked in other U.S. states in the southeast, as well as lived in Europe. I now live on the MS coast in a Katrina devistated area. I would doubt such programs apply to MS schools because the coastal schools tend to rank among the highest in the state.

I'm not specifically aware of the issues in N.O. But to give a little insight, I'd have to say that there is a totally different culture among poor southerners here than in other places. Based on my experience in the MS delta, as well as my sister's experience in teaching in Jackson, MS, there is very little parental support for educators among the poor schools. How do you motivate a kid to care about school when parents don't enforce rules or homework or even care if you call to tell them their child is disrupting class? It is a tough job. Many of these kids come from families that are, at best, indifferent to whether they finish school, and at worst, actively criticizing them for trying to become too "uppety," or trying to rise above their place. There is a violent toughness just under the surface, occasionally boiling over. The culture condones and encourages physical responses to insult, and many are very sensitive to what might be considered insult. It is a culture that fears change and fears their kids leaving them for better oppertunities.

This is in no way intended to discourage you. Poor schools in the south are in desperate need of good teachers with insight to the world outside this area. It is an amazing feeling when you think you have made even the slightest difference for an individual. But I certainly wanted to put my experience out there if you are seriously considering taking on this mission.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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No one knows if the loan forgiveness is true huh?
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
1,743 posts, read 3,067,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggin4colorado View Post
No one knows if the loan forgiveness is true huh?
I'm sure there must be some kind of incentive to get you down there, but don't take my word for it.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Banana Republic, LA
378 posts, read 1,047,494 times
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That's a lot of debt; I also am burdened with plenty of student loans. For what it's worth, I am looking into the Direct loan forgiveness program. It is for employees of any Federal, State, and Local governments. You have to pay on your loans for 10 years, on an income-contigent basis, then apply for the balance to be forgiven. So you would still be paying for a while, but it would be affordable. And your savings would probably be $100,000 on that loan amount. There is information on the internet that tells you how to go about it, just do a search on "direct student loan forgiveness" and you will find a lot of resources. I don't know if it would apply to teachers but it seems like it should.

I would only consider New Orleans if you have a real calling for teaching some tough inner-city kids. You really have no idea what you are getting into if you are not from this area.

I'll try to look further into the loan forgiveness thing, but have to run right now.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,465,425 times
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I had heard of that too...thanks red bean.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:19 AM
 
Location: TX
37 posts, read 163,737 times
Reputation: 17
I received a loan forgiveness in Florida about 10 years ago, for teaching in a critical teacher shortage area. It took 3 years to pay off my loans, while I taught, during which I still had to pay on them. About $11,000 was paid by the state. I would not be surprised to hear of such a thing.
I will tell you that I no longer teach...so make this decision based on more than just a repayment plan! Teaching in the critical teacher shortage area was really rough and wrecked my whole outlook on teaching ( I taught Special Ed).
Check the state education web page. You may want to also investigate your area. If there's a shortage in your state, you may be able to find something similar there. I will tell you that these programs are NOT widely advertised for a reason, and that these will likely be ones cut early on in a budget crunch.
Good Luck.
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