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SF 1984

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/10/2021 04:14pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to higher education; modifying the teacher candidate grant program and
the teacher shortage loan forgiveness program; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020,
sections 136A.1275; 136A.1791.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 136A.1275, is amended to read:


136A.1275 new text beginSTUDENT new text endTEACHER deleted text beginCANDIDATEdeleted text end GRANTS.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

(a) The commissioner of the Office of Higher Education
must establish a grant program for student teaching stipends for low-income students enrolled
in a Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board-approved teacher preparation
program who deleted text beginintend to teach in a shortage area after graduating and receiving their teaching
license or
deleted text end belong to deleted text beginan underrepresenteddeleted text end new text begina new text endracial or ethnic groupnew text begin underrepresented in the
teacher workforce, intend to teach in a rural school district, or intend to work in a license
shortage area
new text end.

(b) "new text beginLicense new text endshortage area" means deleted text begina license field or economic development region within
Minnesota defined as a shortage area by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards
Board in coordination with the commissioner using data collected for the teacher supply
and demand report under section 122A.091, subdivision 5
deleted text endnew text begin teaching in one of the following
license fields: (1) special education, (2) English as a second language, (3) physics, (4)
chemistry, (5) mathematics, and (6) middle level science
new text end.

new text begin (c) "Racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the teacher workforce" means a racial
or ethnic group for which the aggregate percentage of Minnesota teachers of that racial or
ethnic group is lower than the aggregate percentage of Minnesota kindergarten through
grade 12 students of that racial or ethnic group.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Rural school district" means a school district with fewer than ten resident pupil
units under section 126C.05, subdivision 6, per square mile.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Eligibility.

To be eligible for a grant under this section, a teacher deleted text begincandidatedeleted text end
must:

(1) be enrolled in a Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board-approved
teacher preparation program deleted text beginthat requires at least 12 weeks of student teaching in order to
be recommended for any Tier 3 teaching license
deleted text end;

(2) demonstrate financial need based on criteria established by the commissioner under
subdivision 3;

(3) be meeting satisfactory academic progress as defined under section 136A.101,
subdivision 10; and

(4) deleted text beginintend to teach in a shortage area ordeleted text end belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented
in the Minnesota teacher workforcenew text begin, intend to teach in a rural school district, or intend to
teach in a license shortage area
new text end. Intent can be documented based on the teacher license field
the student is pursuing or a statement of intent to teach in deleted text beginan economic development region
defined as a shortage area
deleted text endnew text begin a rural school districtnew text end in the year the student receives a grant.

Subd. 3.

Administration; repayment.

(a) The commissioner must establish an
application process and other guidelines for implementing this program.

(b) The commissioner must determine each academic year the stipend amount up to
$7,500 based on the amount of available funding, the number of eligible applicants, and the
financial need of the applicants.

(c) new text beginIf there are insufficient funds to provide an award to all eligible participants, the
commissioner shall prioritize the awards to eligible participants based on:
new text end

new text begin (1) the financial need of an applicant, considering the applicant's income and household
size;
new text end

new text begin (2) whether the applicant intends to teach in both a rural school district and a license
shortage area; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the statewide distribution of funds.
new text end

new text begin (d) new text endThe percentage of the total award funds available at the beginning of the fiscal year
reserved for deleted text beginteacher candidatesdeleted text end new text beginstudent teachers new text endwho identify as belonging to a racial or
ethnic group underrepresented in the Minnesota teacher workforce must be equal to or
greater than the total percentage of students of racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in
the Minnesota teacher workforce as measured under section 120B.35, subdivision 3. If this
percentage cannot be met because of a lack of qualifying deleted text begincandidatesdeleted text endnew text begin student teachersnew text end, the
remaining amount may be awarded to deleted text beginteacher candidatesdeleted text end new text beginstudent teachers new text endwho intend to
teach in a shortage areanew text begin or rural school districtnew text end.

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Annual reporting. new text end

new text begin By February 1 of each year, the commissioner must report
to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives
committees with jurisdiction over E-12 and higher education finance and policy on the
number of individuals who received grants under this section, the race or ethnicity of the
teachers participating in the program, the licensure areas and school districts in which the
teachers taught, the amount paid to student teachers participating in the program, and other
summary data identified by the commissioner as outcome indicators.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 136A.1791, is amended to read:


136A.1791 TEACHER SHORTAGE LOAN deleted text beginFORGIVENESSdeleted text endnew text begin REPAYMENTnew text end
PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) The terms used in this section have the meanings given
them in this subdivision.

(b) "Qualified educational loan" means a government, commercial, or foundation loan
for actual costs paid for tuition and reasonable educational and living expenses related to a
teacher's new text begininitial new text endpreparation deleted text beginor further educationdeleted text end.

(c) "School district" means an independent school district, special school district,
intermediate district, education district, special education cooperative, service cooperative,
a cooperative center for vocational education, or a charter school located in Minnesota.

(d) "Teacher" means an individual holding a teaching license issued by the Professional
Educator Licensing and Standards Board who is employed by a school district to provide
classroom instruction.

deleted text begin (e) "Teacher shortage area" means:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) the licensure fields and economic development regions reported by the Professional
Educator Licensing and Standards Board in coordination with the commissioner as
experiencing a teacher shortage; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) economic development regions where there is a shortage of licensed teachers who
reflect the racial or ethnic diversity of students in the region as reported by the Professional
Educator Licensing and Standards Board in coordination with the commissioner.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education
unless indicated otherwise.

new text begin (f) "License shortage area" means teaching in one of the following license fields: (1)
special education, (2) English as a second language, (3) physics, (4) chemistry, (5)
mathematics, and (6) middle level science.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the teacher workforce" means a racial
or ethnic group for which the aggregate percentage of Minnesota teachers of that racial or
ethnic group is lower than the aggregate percentage of Minnesota kindergarten through
grade 12 students of that racial or ethnic group.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Rural school district" means a school district with fewer than ten resident pupil
units under section 126C.05, subdivision 6, per square mile.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Program established; administration.

The commissioner shall establish and
administer a teacher shortage loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text end new text beginrepayment new text endprogram. deleted text beginA teacher is eligible for
the program if the teacher is teaching in an identified teacher shortage area under subdivision
3 and complies with the requirements of this section.
deleted text end

deleted text begin Subd. 3. deleted text end

deleted text begin Report on teacher shortage areas. deleted text end

deleted text begin Using data collected for the teacher supply
and demand report to the legislature under section 122A.091, subdivision 5, the Professional
Educator Licensing and Standards Board shall identify the licensure fields and economic
development regions in Minnesota experiencing a teacher shortage.
deleted text end

new text begin Subd. 3a. new text end

new text begin Eligibility. new text end

new text begin To be eligible for a disbursement under this section, a student
teacher must belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the Minnesota teacher
workforce, teach in a rural school district, or teach in a license shortage area.
new text end

Subd. 4.

Application for loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end.

Each applicant for loan
deleted text begin forgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end, according to rules adopted by the commissioner, shall:

(1) apply for teacher shortage loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text end new text beginrepayment new text endand promptly submit any
additional information required by the commissioner; and

(2) submit to the commissioner a completed affidavit, prescribed by the commissioner,
affirming the teacher is teaching in: (i) a deleted text beginlicensure field identified by the commissioner as
experiencing a teacher
deleted text endnew text begin licensenew text end shortagenew text begin areanew text end; or (ii) deleted text beginan economic development region
identified by the commissioner as experiencing a teacher shortage
deleted text endnew text begin a rural school districtnew text end.

Subd. 5.

Amount of loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end.

(a) To the extent funding is available,
the annual amount of teacher shortage loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end for an approved applicant
shall not exceed $1,000 or the cumulative balance of the applicant's qualified educational
loans, including principal and interest, whichever amount is less.

(b) Recipients must secure their own qualified educational loans. Teachers who graduate
from an approved teacher preparation program or teachers who add a licensure field,
consistent with the teacher shortage requirements of this section, are eligible to apply for
the loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end program.

(c) No teacher shall receive more than five annual awards.

Subd. 6.

Disbursement.

(a) The commissioner must make annual disbursements directly
to the participant of the amount for which a participant is eligible, for each year that a
participant is eligible.

(b) Within 60 days of the disbursement date, the participant must provide the
commissioner with verification that the full amount of loan repayment disbursement has
been applied toward the designated loans. A participant that previously received funds under
this section but has not provided the commissioner with such verification is not eligible to
receive additional funds.

Subd. 7.

Penalties.

(a) A teacher who submits a false or misleading application or other
false or misleading information to the commissioner may:

(1) have his or her teaching license suspended or revoked under section 122A.20;

(2) be disciplined by the teacher's employing school district; or

(3) be required by the commissioner to repay the total amount of the loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin
repayment
new text end he or she received under this program, plus interest at a rate established under
section 270C.40.

(b) The commissioner must deposit any repayments received under paragraph (a) in the
fund established in subdivision 8.

Subd. 8.

Account established.

A teacher shortage loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text end repayment account
is created in the special revenue fund for depositing money appropriated to or received by
the commissioner for the program. Money deposited in the account is appropriated to the
commissioner, does not cancel, and is continuously available for loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text end new text beginrepayment
new text end under this section.

Subd. 9.

Annual reporting.

By February 1 of each year, the commissioner must report
to the chairs of the kindergarten through grade 12 and higher education committees of the
legislature on the number of individuals who received loan deleted text beginforgivenessdeleted text endnew text begin repaymentnew text end under
this section, the race or ethnicity of the teachers participating in the program, the licensure
areas and deleted text begineconomic development regionsdeleted text endnew text begin school districtsnew text end in which the teachers taught, the
average amount paid to a teacher participating in the program, and other summary data
identified by the commissioner as outcome indicators.

Subd. 10.

Rulemaking.

The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 to
administer this section.