New loan program aims to diversify Connecticut classrooms – NBC Connecticut


Education officials have announced a new loan program that will help diversify classrooms, while addressing recruitment and retention issues at all levels.

“This will help our 36 alliance districts continue to grow their workforce,” Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker said.

For current alliance teachers, the Alliance District Teacher Loan Subsidy program will help reduce already existing loan debt.

“When they refinance a district teacher loan from the CHESLA alliance, their interest rate will be reduced by three percentage points from the standard CHESLA financing rate. With this grant, teachers will have interest rates of 0.75% to 2.49% for long terms of five, 10 or 15 years,” said CHESLA CEO Jeanette Weldon.

Eligible participants can receive a loan of up to $25,000.

Education officials say the initiative will benefit the growing and diverse student body, especially when students can see themselves within a teacher.

“Including the impact on schools, resulting in better outcomes for students of all races and ethnicities, reduced dropout rates, improved college admissions and achievement gains,” said Russell- Tucker.

This comes against the backdrop of many districts facing teacher shortages across the country.

“We were experiencing a decline in teacher retention before covid and the pandemic has certainly intensified these issues that are pushing educators out of the classroom,” said Kimberly Kostelis, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Central Connecticut. State University.

Education officials hope this program will help fill that void.

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