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Congress Passes Legislation to Improve TEACH Grants

An elementary art teacher instructs second-grade students attending in person and remotely at Wesley Elementary School.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

This week, the House of Representatives passed the Consider Teachers Act, which would make certain improvements to the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants program.  The TEACH Grant program is intended to encourage individuals to enter the teaching profession by providing recipients with grants of up to $4,000 per year to pursue coursework that leads to a certification in teaching. AACTE has long supported this program to help address the nation’s shortage of educators.

If recipients of the TEACH Grants fail to meet the requirements of the program, their grants are converted to loans that must be repaid.  Many of these conversions are due to clerical mistakes that cannot be undone. The Consider Teachers Act would allow loans to be converted back to grants if recipients can show that they met the obligations of the program. It would also extend the service obligation window for as long as three years for recipients affected by COVID-19.

The bill was introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and in the House by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).  President Biden is expected to sign the legislation in to law. 

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