Attention teachers! The Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act, signed into law last year, authorizes up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for eligible, highly qualified math, science, and special education teachers. This dramatic increase -- $12,500 above the previous limit of $5,000 -- is meant to ease the shortage of teachers in important subject areas. To be eligible, teachers (with no outstanding loan balances before October 1, 1998, and who have borrowed before October 1, 2005) must be highly qualified, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act; must have taught full-time, for five consecutive years, in a Title I school; and must have taught secondary math or science or elementary or secondary special education to students with disabilities. Also, an eligible teacher who has already received loan forgiveness may receive further loan forgiveness -- "up to the difference between $17,500 and the amount previously forgiven."
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Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT)
Significant changes to Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §227.10 (a)(3)(C) were approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) on October 10, 2008. The new rule, which went into effect on December 14, 2008, allows degreed individuals who have not been enrolled in an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) to take Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT) to demonstrate content proficiency for possible admission into an EPP. Taking PACT does not ensure admittance into a program. EPPs may have additional admission requirements.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning January 5, 2009, if you hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and are not yet enrolled in an EPP (educator preparation program), you are allowed to register to take a content test for purposes of admission into the following types of EPPs: alternative certification programs, university alternative certification programs, or university post baccalaureate programs (without content courses). To register for a content certification test for the purpose of entering an EPP, go to the ETS TExES online registration system. Prior to test day, be sure to familiarize yourself with test day procedures including test center ID requirements and test center procedures and policies.
VA Reimbursement for Certification Tests
Texas veterans who have remaining GI Bill Entitlement are authorized to be reimbursed by the Veterans Administration for the cost of TExES/ExCET/TOPT examinations. More for information, contact Meryl Ketter (Texas Troops to Teachers) at 1-800-810-5484.