Rural teachers can now apply for $12,000 in education funding

At long last, educators working in rural or underserved districts and schools have the chance to apply for up to $12,000 that could be put toward student loans or other educational expenses.

The program was created by the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 1290, which Gov. Brad Little signed into law last spring. The initiative is an effort to recruit and retain teachers, especially in rural and high-need locations, where staff shortages are often more severe.

Apply here for the rural and underserved educator incentive program.

Eligible teachers can receive up to $12,000 over four years (provided they remain at the same school or district):

  • Year one: $1,500
  • Year two: $2,500
  • Year three: $3,500
  • Year four: $4,500

Eligibility requirements can be found here.

The program will provide for direct repayment of eligible education expenses, such as:

  • student loan repayment
  • additional degrees
  • advanced degrees
  • career technical certifications
  • course fees, lab fees, required course equipment/expenses such as book, supplies, or transcript fees

Those interested can apply here. The first round of applications is due by Dec. 9. Chosen applicants will be notified by the end of the calendar year.

Mike Keckler, a spokesperson for the State Board of Education, said the application opened the morning of Oct. 31. By the afternoon – even before an announcement was made – 40 applications were submitted.

“There’s a lot of interest,” Keckler said.

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