Saturday, May 30, 2009

Don't be like Kentucky!

Kentucky's teacher loan catastrophe has appeared in a third New York Times article. Back story: the Best in Class program said that teachers who went into shortage fields--math, science, and special education--could get 20% of their student loan principal paid off each year, leaving them debt-free after five years' work. Then the Student Loan People, who created the program, announced that they couldn't afford it, leaving teachers who had already borrowed deep in debt.

For this article, a reporting team called other state loan programs to find out how secure their forgiveness offers are, and here's part of what happened:
Some states ignored us or didn’t call back in time. Some were stumped entirely and said the question actually raised Constitutional issues, which left us a bit befuddled (and there was a trained lawyer in our posse). A few insisted that theirs was not a Kentucky situation, so scared were they of being tarred with that state’s taint.
There it is. We're the national model of how not to run an incentive program and how not to treat student borrowers willing to take on important public service.

One flicker of hope in the article shouldn't be missed: "Ken Winters, a Republican state senator there, said he expected the issue of financing for the program to come up in January."

(Earlier posts on this bad story are here.)


  1. Kentucky sure hasn't been looking good in this arena lately. It is sad that we are a state claiming the motto "Education Pays". However, it should more realistically be "Education Pays Bankers". I hope that Kentucky and this poorly run lender will begin to make things right and help these kids out. No excuses.

  2. Thank you for continuing to look into this matter. I am a Kentucky teacher affected by the Best in Class. I do not understand how Kentucky can get away with this. I will never recommend going into the teaching field in Kentucky. It is a horrible state to work for!!


Updates and data on Kentucky education!