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Lawmakers question loan forgiveness bill for rural teachers

A handful of Idaho lawmakers say they have too many objections to a proposal designed to retain teachers in rural areas by paying off some of their student loan debt.

According to the bill, up to 500 eligible teachers who work in rural schools would receive $3,000 in student loan forgiveness a year for four years. Currently, Idaho has more than 9,000 teachers who work in rural schools.

The House Education Committee on Tuesday decided to send HB 504 to be amended by the full House after citing concerns about taking money out of the general fund to pay for loans.

The fate of the bill, however, remains unknown because lawmakers are hoping to adjourn as early as possible due to the upcoming May primary election and may not have time to tweak the proposal.

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