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New program for rural Montana teachers

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For the fourth year running, Montana provided student loan repayment help to teachers as an incentive to recruit teachers in needed fields to rural areas.

141 teachers were selected from 222 applicants. The educators represent 95 different schools and three special education cooperatives. They will each get student loan repayment assistance of up to $3,000 a year for the next four years for a total of up to $12,000. This year, $417,000 was awarded in student loan repayment assistance.

The top identified shortage areas were special education, math and career and technical education respectively. Other shortage areas included music, art, science, world languages, school counselor, speech/language pathologist and library media.

“Public schools are the hearts of Montana’s rural communities,” said Denise Juneau, Supt. of Public Instruction. “This program allows rural communities to attract and retain quality teachers, which is critical to the continued success of our students.”

The greatest number of loan repayment assistance was given to special education teachers with 36 awardees and career and technical education teachers with 26 awardees.

Counties with the highest number of teachers receiving awards were Ravalli County with 18 recipients and Cascade County with 12 recipients.

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