United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Aug 15, 2020

§ 1078–10.
Loan forgiveness for teachers
(a)
Statement of purpose

It is the purpose of this section to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.

(b)
Program authorized
The Secretary shall carry out a program, through the holder of the loan, of assuming the obligation to repay a qualified loan amount for a loan made under section 1078 or 1078–8 of this title, in accordance with subsection (c), for any new borrower on or after October 1, 1998, who—
(1)
has been employed as a full-time teacher for 5 consecutive complete school years—
(A)
in a school or location that qualifies under section 1087ee(a)(2)(A) of this title for loan cancellation for Perkins loan recipients who teach in such schools or locations; and
(B)
if employed as an elementary school or secondary school teacher, is highly qualified as defined in section 9101 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of the Elementary Secondary 2
2
 So in original. Probably should be preceded by “and”.
Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 7801], or meets the requirements of subsection (g)(3); and
(2)
is not in default on a loan for which the borrower seeks forgiveness.
(c)
Qualified loans amount
(1)
In general

The Secretary shall repay not more than $5,000 in the aggregate of the loan obligation on a loan made under section 1078 or 1078–8 of this title that is outstanding after the completion of the fifth complete school year of teaching described in subsection (b)(1). No borrower may receive a reduction of loan obligations under both this section and section 1087j of this title.

(2)
Treatment of consolidation loans

A loan amount for a loan made under section 1078–3 of this title may be a qualified loan amount for the purposes of this subsection only to the extent that such loan amount was used to repay a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a loan made under section 1078 or 1078–8 of this title for a borrower who meets the requirements of subsection (b), as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(3)
Additional amounts for teachers in mathematics, science, or special education
Notwithstanding the amount specified in paragraph (1), the aggregate amount that the Secretary shall repay under this section shall be not more than $17,500 in the case of—
(A)
a secondary school teacher—
(i)
who meets the requirements of subsection (b); and
(ii)
whose qualifying employment for purposes of such subsection is teaching mathematics or science on a full-time basis; and
(B)
an elementary school or secondary school teacher—
(i)
who meets the requirements of subsection (b);
(ii)
whose qualifying employment for purposes of such subsection is as a special education teacher whose primary responsibility is to provide special education to children with disabilities (as those terms are defined in section 1401 of this title); and
(iii)
who, as certified by the chief administrative officer of the public or non-profit private elementary school or secondary school in which the borrower is employed, or, in the case of a teacher who is employed by an educational service agency, as certified by the chief administrative officer of such agency, is teaching children with disabilities that correspond with the borrower’s special education training and has demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in the content areas of the elementary school or secondary school curriculum that the borrower is teaching.
(d)
Regulations

The Secretary is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(e)
Construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any refunding of any repayment of a loan.

(f)
List

If the list of schools in which a teacher may perform service pursuant to subsection (b) is not available before May 1 of any year, the Secretary may use the list for the year preceding the year for which the determination is made to make such service determination.

(g)
Additional eligibility provisions
(1)
Continued eligibility
Any teacher who performs service in a school that—
(A)
meets the requirements of subsection (b)(1)(A) in any year during such service; and
(B)
in a subsequent year fails to meet the requirements of such subsection,
may continue to teach in such school and shall be eligible for loan forgiveness pursuant to subsection (b).
(2)
Prevention of double benefits
No borrower may, for the same service, receive a benefit under both this section and—
(C)
subtitle D of title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12601 et seq.).
(3)
Private school teachers

An individual who is employed as a teacher in a private school and is exempt from State certification requirements (unless otherwise applicable under State law), may, in lieu of the requirement of subsection (b)(1)(B), have such employment treated as qualifying employment under this section if such individual is permitted to and does satisfy rigorous subject knowledge and skills tests by taking competency tests in the applicable grade levels and subject areas. For such purposes, the competency tests taken by such a private school teacher shall be recognized by 5 or more States for the purpose of fulfilling the highly qualified teacher requirements under section 9101 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 7801], and the score achieved by such teacher on each test shall equal or exceed the average passing score of those 5 States.

(h)
“Year” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “year”, where applied to service as a teacher, means an academic year as defined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, § 428J, as added Pub. L. 102–325, title IV, § 422, July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 541; amended Pub. L. 103–82, title I, § 102(c)(2), Sept. 21, 1993, 107 Stat. 824; Pub. L. 103–208, § 2(c)(47)–(51), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2467; Pub. L. 105–244, title IV, § 424, Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1698; Pub. L. 108–409, § 3(a)(1)(A), (b)(1), Oct. 30, 2004, 118 Stat. 2300; Pub. L. 109–171, title VIII, § 8013(e)(1), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 167; Pub. L. 110–315, title IV, § 429, Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3236; Pub. L. 111–39, title IV, § 402(f)(6), July 1, 2009, 123 Stat. 1944.)
cite as: 20 USC 1078-10