NAICU Washington Update

TEACH Grant Legislation Heads to President for Signature

October 01, 2021

After passing the Senate earlier this year, the House passed S. 848, the Consider Teachers Act, by a bipartisan vote of 406-16. This bill aims to fix the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program, which supports teachers in underserved schools. The bill now goes to President Biden, where he is expected to sign it soon.

The TEACH program, which Congress authorized in 2007, gives up to $4,000 each year to college students training to be teachers. In return, the students must teach for four years in a high-need field at an underserved school within eight years of graduating. If a student does not meet these requirements, their TEACH grant becomes a loan that must be repaid. 

Current law stipulates that grant recipients must certify that they have started teaching or intend to start within 120 days of graduating or withdrawing from school or risk having their grants turned to loans. The new legislation amends current law and no longer carries this requirement.  

In addition, the bill allows all TEACH Grant recipients to submit a reconsideration request to the Secretary of Education if their grants were turned into loans due to the policy.  If the Secretary determines that a grant was turned into a loan in error, they are required to forgive all outstanding balances, including interest, and restore the loan to a grants. TEACH Grant recipients are allowed an additional three years to fulfill their service if they are negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

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