Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-12-087.
Title of Rule: Future teachers conditional scholarship for public school classified K-12 employees.
Purpose: Implement the future teachers conditional scholarship for public school classified K-12 employees as authorized by the 1999-2000 state biennial budget.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.80 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: Section 610(5), chapter 1, Laws of 2000 2nd sp. sess.
Summary: Establishes the conditional scholarship program. Provides program definitions including the eligible applicant and eligible institution. Provides the terms for loan forgiveness and for loan repayment. Permits payment of the conditional scholarship to be made to eligible enrolled students.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: These rules are necessary to run a scholarship competition, write the promissory note, make payments to students, and provide forgiveness of the loan or require repayment if the terms of the forgiveness are not fulfilled.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Klacik, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA, (360) 753-7851.
Name of Proponent: Higher Education Coordinating Board, governmental.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: These rules define the eligible participant as one who is currently employed or was employed in 1999-2000 as a classified employee in Washington's public K-12 school system; provide additional definitions such as "institution of higher education, Washington public K-12 school, and teaching service"; establish selection procedures, criteria, and priorities; establish enrollment requirements; establish loan amounts and payments to eligible recipients; establish the criteria for earning loan forgiveness; and provide for the repayment requirements if forgiveness is not earned.
The effect of these rules is to establish the program, allow a scholarship competition to be organized, select recipients, construct a promissory note, make payments, confer forgiveness of the loans, and require repayment as needed.
Proposal does not change existing rules.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This is a conditional scholarship for students aspiring to become teachers. It does not impact small businesses.
Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. The Higher Education Coordinating Board is not one of the agencies named in statute.
Hearing Location: Higher Education Coordinating Board, 917 Lakeridge Way, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Olympia, WA 98504-4340, on November 2, 2000, at 9 a.m. until 12 noon.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Belma Villa, (360) 753-7810, by November 1, 2000.
Submit Written Comments to: John Klacik, Associate Director, Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-4340, fax (360) 704-6251, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, by 5 p.m. on November 2, 2000.
Date of Intended Adoption: December 1, 2000.
September 20, 2000
FUTURE TEACHERS CONDITIONAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSIFIED K-12 EMPLOYEES
The purpose of this act is to provide a demonstration project to enable Washington classified public K-12 employees to obtain their initial teaching certifications in order to become teachers in Washington's public K-12 schools.
(1) "Academic year" means the regular nine-month, three-quarter or two-semester period annually occurring between August 1st and June 30th.
(2) "Accredited" means an institution certified by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or by a similar regional accrediting body.
(3) "Board" means the higher education coordinating board.
(4) "Classified public K-12 employees" means employees working for K-12 schools covered by chapter 41.56 RCW.
(5) "Conditional scholarship" means funds received from The Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship for Public School Classified Employees program. This is a loan that will be forgiven in exchange for teaching service in Washington K-12 public schools.
(6) "Continuous enrollment" means the period of time a recipient is enrolled without stopping, except for the equivalent of one term per year, such as a summer term.
(7) "Forgiven" or "to forgive" or "forgiveness" means that portion of the recipient's loan that does not need to be repaid in exchange for the recipient having provided the specified teaching service in a Washington public K-12 school.
(8) "Full-time student" means a recipient enrolled for twelve or more credit hours, or the equivalent, per term.
(9) "Future teachers" means classified public K-12 employees who are working toward their initial teaching certifications.
(10) "Institution of higher education" means an accredited public or private college, community college or university which physically delivers classroom instruction within the state of Washington and whose program of study will advance students toward teacher certification requirements at the freshman or sophomore level; or whose coursework will lead to initial teaching certifications for students enrolled at the junior level or higher.
(11) "Loan equalization fee" means an additional amount charged to a recipient who fails to complete the required teaching service. This fee is added in order to make the cost of the program similar to the cost incurred by recipients borrowing from the primary federal student loan program for undergraduate students. This fee shall be determined annually by the board.
(12) "Loan repayment" means that portion of the conditional scholarship that is not forgiven due to teaching service and is instead repaid according to the terms of the promissory note by the recipient.
(13) "Recipients" means eligible student applicants selected to receive conditional scholarships.
(14) "Shortage areas" means either geographic or subject-matters areas as defined by the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(15) "Teacher certification" means the initial license issued by the office of the superintendent of public instruction permitting an individual to be employed as a teacher in the state of Washington.
(16) "Teaching service" means employment as a certified teacher in a Washington public K-12 school on at least a half-time basis. This also includes comparable employment as a substitute teacher or part-time teaching positions.
(17) "Washington public K-12 school" means an elementary school, a middle school, junior high school or high school within the public school system referred to in Article IX of the state Constitution.
The higher education coordinating board shall administer the conditional scholarship program. When a duty or responsibility of the board is referenced in these regulations, the authority needed to discharge that responsibility lies with the executive director or his or her designee. The staff of the board, under the direction of the executive director, will manage the administrative functions relative to the program. The board shall have the following administrative responsibilities, encompassed within the board's enumerated powers and duties:
(1) Enter into agreements with participating institutions, and billing and collection agencies as may be necessary.
(2) Select applicants to receive conditional scholarships, with the assistance of a selection committee.
(3) Adopt necessary rules and guidelines.
(4) Empower the board staff to make professional judgment decisions on unique circumstances.
(5) Work with the office of superintendent of public instruction and appropriate public school employee organizations to publicize the program directly to Washington public school classified K-12 employees.
(6) Post additional information, including a fact sheet and an application, on the board's website at http://www.hecb.wa.gov.
(7) Verify completion of teaching service from recipients in exchange for forgiveness of loan repayment.
(8) Collect and manage repayments from recipients who do not fulfill their teaching obligations.
An eligible applicant is one who:
(1) Is currently employed as a Washington classified public school K-12 employee covered by chapter 41.56 RCW or was an employee during the 1999-2000 school year.
(2) Plans to enroll in an accredited Washington institution of higher education within three months of the time of notification of the conditional scholarship award. Applicants who are unsure they can meet this three-month expectation will be encouraged to apply and to indicate their circumstances on the application.
(3) Plans to be employed as a teacher in a Washington public K-12 school after completion of the initial teacher certification.
(4) Will not be pursuing a degree in theology.
(5) Submits an application to the board by the requested deadline.
(1) Appointment of selection committee. The board will appoint a committee composed of educators and leaders in business and government.
(2) Role of selection committee. The committee will act on behalf of the board to select recipients and alternates from the pool(s) of eligible applicants who have submitted applications to the board. This committee will also advise board staff and the board on recommended changes in the program administration, including the application and selection procedures for future competitions.
(3) Selection of recipients and alternates. Once all initial eligibility criteria are met, preference will be given in the selection process to those classified K-12 public school employees closest to obtaining their initial Washington state teacher certifications. In addition, the committee will consider each of the following items in the selection process.
(a) Applicant's academic ability.
(b) Applicant's statement evidencing commitment to the teaching profession and the applicant's ability to serve as a positive role model as a Washington public school K-12 teacher.
(c) Applicant's length and quality of contributions to the Washington K-12 public school in his/her current position and any other previous positions.
(d) Recommendation from a current school teacher/official describing the applicant's potential as a future teacher.
(e) The committee will give preference in awarding as follows:
(i) Eligible renewal applicants who are within two years of completing their initial teacher certification requirements.
(ii) All other eligible renewal applicants.
(iii) Eligible new applicants who are within two years of completing their initial teacher certification requirements.
(iv) All other new eligible applicants.
(4) Duration of conditional scholarship awards.
(a) During the first year, the board will initially make one-year awards to applicants selected for conditional scholarships.
(b) Based on the remaining availability of funds, the board may also make commitments to some recipients for additional years of study, with priority given to those recipients who are within two years of completing their initial teacher certification requirements.
In order to receive funding through the conditional scholarship the recipient must:
(1) Begin enrollment within three months of the date of the conditional scholarship award notification. Applicants who are unsure they can meet this three-month expectation will be encouraged to apply and to indicate their circumstances on the application. The board staff will have discretion to extend this period.
(2) Provide proof of enrollment to the board each term.
(3) If already enrolled, be in good standing and maintaining satisfactory academic progress according to the institution's normal requirements.
(4) Not be enrolled in or planning to pursue a degree in theology.
(1) This is a demonstration project for which there is no guarantee of additional funding beyond the 1999-2001 biennium.
(2) Renewal applications. If sufficient funds are available for renewal awards, previous recipients will be required to submit renewal applications to the board by the stated deadline. The renewal application will gather information from recipients such as:
(a) Confirmation that the applicant still plans to become a teacher in a Washington K-12 public school after completion of the initial teacher certification.
(b) Projected academic schedule of the applicant for the upcoming enrollment period.
(c) Verification that the applicant is in good standing and maintaining satisfactory academic progress according to the institution's normal requirements.
The higher education coordinating board may award conditional scholarships to eligible students from the funds appropriated for this purpose and from any required repayments to the fund.
(1) Agreement with the board:
(a) Each conditional scholarship recipient shall enter into a loan agreement, hereafter known as the "promissory note," with the board agreeing to comply with the rules, regulations, and guidelines of the conditional scholarship program.
(b) The promissory note shall serve as the legal document verifying the recipient's understanding of the opportunity to have the loan forgiven in exchange for teaching service and the obligation to repay the loan if teaching service is not provided.
(2) Award amounts:
(a) Recipients may be eligible to receive conditional scholarships for a maximum of the equivalent of five academic years of full-time study.
(b) The amount of conditional scholarships awarded individual full-time recipients shall not exceed four thousand dollars per academic year for recipients attending eligible four-year or graduate public or private colleges and universities, and two thousand dollars per academic year for recipients attending eligible two-year institutions.
(c) Recipients enrolling for summer coursework after the completion of an academic year of full-time eligibility may be eligible for additional summer award amounts equivalent to a third semester or fourth quarter. In this case, the recipients would be assumed to be beginning their second academic year of award eligibility. For example, for a student attending a semester college who received full-time enrollment awards of two thousand dollars each for fall, spring and summer, the student would be assumed to have received loans for the equivalent of 1.5 academic years.
(d) Recipients enrolling on less than a full-time basis shall receive the following prorated award amounts for all terms of part-time enrollment:
(i) Enrollment of 9.0 - 11.9 credit hours per term equals three-quarter enrollment. This shall be equal to an award amount of seventy-five percent of the full-time award amount.
(ii) Enrollment of 6.0 - 8.9 credit hours per term equals half-time enrollment. This shall be equal to an award amount of fifty percent of the full-time award amount.
(iii) Enrollment of 3.0 - 5.9 credit hours per term equals one-quarter enrollment. This shall be equal to an award amount of twenty-five percent of the full-time award amount.
(e) Recipients receiving awards for part-time enrollment shall have the assessment of their award records calculated on a prorated basis. For example, a recipient receiving awards on the basis of half-time enrollment for two academic years will have used one academic year of loan eligibility.
(3) Grace period. No interest accrues and no payments are required of the recipient during a six-month grace period. The grace period begins the first day of the month following whichever of the following dates comes first:
(a) The last day of the term of the recipient's program of education which culminates with the completion of the initial teacher certification requirements; or
(b) The last day of the term the recipient ceases continuous enrollment.
(4) Deferment of loans. No interest is charged to recipients during approved periods of deferment as approved by the board. Approved deferments include:
(a) The recipient's continuous enrollment in the educational program which culminates with the completion of the initial teacher certification requirements.
(b) The recipient has a temporary total disability or is unable to secure employment by reason of the care required by a dependent who is disabled. The deferment continues for a period not to exceed three years.
(c) The recipient returns to an approved educational program on at least a half-time basis to complete the initial teacher certification requirements after the loan has already gone into repayment.
(d) Other circumstances as determined by the board.
(5) Forbearance. The board staff may approve an additional limited deferment of payment of principal based on special circumstances, such as a financial hardship of the recipient. The recipient's loan account will be assessed interest during the period of forbearance.
(6) Cancellation of loans. In the event of a recipient's death or total and permanent disability, the recipient's unpaid indebtedness shall be fully canceled.
(7) Forgiveness of the loans.
(a) Loan forgiveness is granted at the higher rate of:
(i) One academic year of loan forgiveness for each two years of teaching service; or
(ii) One academic year of loan forgiveness for each year of teaching service in geographic or subject-matter shortage areas, as specified by the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(b) Loan forgiveness for teaching service for periods less than an academic year shall be prorated based upon verification of teaching service of a minimum of three months, and then shall be prorated thereafter. No forgiveness shall be granted for teaching service of less than three months.
(c) For recipients receiving loans for the equivalent of a portion of an academic year, the teaching service required for loan forgiveness shall be prorated. The following two examples show how this works in practice.
(i) If a recipient received a loan amount for the equivalent of one-third academic year, the required teaching service for forgiveness of the loan is two-thirds of an academic year; or one-third of an academic year, if the recipient taught in a shortage area.
(ii) If a recipient received a loan amount for the equivalent of two and one-half academic years, the required teaching service for forgiveness of the loan is five academic years; or two and one-half academic years, if the recipient taught in a shortage area.
(8) Interest rates. The interest rate on new loans shall be determined annually by the board. The annual interest rate shall generally parallel the current rate for new loans in the primary federal student loan program for undergraduate students. Interest charges are assessed beginning at the conclusion of the grace period for recipients not in deferment who are not providing teaching service.
(9) Loan equalization fee. Recipients who do not enter teaching service by the conclusion of the grace period and other approved loan deferments shall incur a loan equalization fee of not more than three percent of the remaining unforgiven loan balance. This fee shall be determined annually by the board. The loan equalization fee shall be added to the remaining principal balance and be repaid by the recipient.
(10) Repayment of the loan. Should the recipient not be eligible for loan forgiveness due to teaching service, the loan principal and the loan equalization fee, which will be added to the loan principal, must be fully repaid with interest beginning at the end of the grace period or loan deferment period, whichever is later, according to the following terms:
(a) The minimum monthly repayment rate shall be set by the board, but shall not be less than fifty dollars per month.
(b) The maximum period for repayment shall be ten years, with payments of principal and interest accruing quarterly, commencing the first quarter following the completion of recipient's grace period or loan deferral period, whichever date is later.
(11) Collection of repayments:
(a) The board is responsible for collection of repayments made and shall exercise due diligence in such collection, maintaining all necessary records to ensure that maximum repayments are made.
(b) The board is responsible to forgive all or parts of such repayments under the criteria established by the board and shall maintain all necessary records of forgiven payments.
(12) Establishment of loan account. All appropriations, receipts from the payment of the principal or interest, and any other subsidies to which the board as administrator is entitled which are paid by or on behalf of recipients under this section, shall be deposited with the board in the account authorized by RCW 28B.102.060. It shall be used to cover the costs of granting the conditional scholarships, maintaining necessary records and making collections. The board shall maintain accurate records of these costs, and all receipts beyond those necessary to pay such costs shall be used to grant conditional scholarships to eligible students.