BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - 449 Idaho educators working in rural and underserved school districts and public charter schools, are the first recipients of state funding to help pay qualified student loans or cover costs for current eligible educational expenses.
Award letters were emailed to the selected applicants Wednesday. The Office of State Board of Education (OSBE) developed a rubric to assign points and grade over 760 applications submitted by educators working throughout Idaho. The 449 recipients had the highest number of points.
OSBE is working to verify educational loan information and current eligible expenses submitted by the applicants. Eligible expenses include costs to obtain additional degrees, career technical certifications, course and lab fees, books, and course equipment.
The program has funding for 500 awards this year. After the initial 449 recipient applications have been verified and processed, OSBE will review the remaining applications to fill the remaining slots.
The State Board of Education’s Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive program was created last year by the passage of Senate Bill 1290.
The program creates an incentive for educators to work and stay in rural and high-need school districts and charters where it is often difficult to recruit and retrain new teachers.
Eligible teachers can receive up to $12,000 over four years for eligible loans and expenses. The breakdown is as follows:
- First year - $1,500
- Second year - $2,500
- Third year - $3,500
- Fourth year - $4,500
- Total - $12,000
The application window will open again after the start of the state fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2023.