Bill Being Introduced to Attract Teachers to Rural Areas


by Suzanne Potter


HELENA, Mont. – College students who agree to work in rural schools will be able to get money to pay for their education if a new bill proposed by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester becomes law.

Tester, D-Mont., announced the bill on Thursday at an educational conference in Billings. The senator said he hopes the Rural Educator Support and Training Act will encourage more college students to set their sights on rural schools.

“Under my bill,” he said, “students pursuing degrees in education or school administration who contract to work in rural schools for at least three years can apply for scholarships to help pay for part of their education.”

Almost 80 percent of Montana school districts are defined as rural, and administrators say they have a very tough time attracting teachers.

Tester's bill also would benefit experienced teachers and administrators who move to a rural district.

“Teachers and administrators who work in rural schools for five years can apply for $17,000 in student-loan forgiveness,” he said.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction's 2013 report showed that in the 2012-2013 school year, Montana school districts reported more than 1,100 vacancies, especially in special education and math.

The bill will be introduced next week when the Senate goes back into session.

Details of the bill are at



Source:  Big Sky Connection



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