Phoenix School, Lipset, NPR discussed on Morning Edition
Louis. Can you say? According to previously unreleased numbers from the department almost six thousand teachers have now applied for help. And of those so far twenty three hundred have been approved and their loans are getting turned back into grants. And the department says fewer than twenty teachers have been denied. So the vast majority who apply for help or getting it is just taking time to process all the applications. Diane, our Jones is acting under secretary and acting assistant secretary at the department from internal reports from the work that you did it was abundantly clear to us that there was a problem with teach grants turns out Jones served in the same role more than a decade ago when the rules known as regulations or rags were first written. We realized that there were certain things that seem like a good idea when we wrote the wreck, but they were just too cumbersome for students and unfairly so and so beyond the initial fix. For the teachers who got hurt the department is now making other big changes to for example. The department is agreed that grants should no longer be turned into loans just because of later incomplete annual paperwork. So what's the new rules are finalized district Coney in penalty that's been at the heart of a lot of these problems. It'll be gone. The department is also committing to help teachers who had their credit hurt hanging over this process, though has been one thorny question. What to do about teachers who lost their grants and then decided to change schools or quit teaching all together on the phone? Honestly, I cried at one point because I was like this isn't right. You know, it's not fair, Victoria, lipset talked for three years in a low income Phoenix school, but her grants got changed loans because of paperwork when her husband got into grad school, they moved and since he'd already lost her grants. Lips took a job at a school that doesn't qualify. The problem is that teachers need to complete their required teaching service within eight years. So. So even with the initial fix many teachers who changed schools live sack or who left the classroom wouldn't have had time to finish. In February libs at came to Washington DC to share her story with the government committee tasked with rewriting these rules living on a teachers salary at along come school had just enough to live. I love teaching, but I felt overwhelmed and feed it when my grant was converted that rules committee heard lip sack. And in a surprise move voted to expand the fix to include teachers like her it's now resetting the clock back to when teachers lost their grants that should give lip sack five more years to complete just one more year of required service. Yes, she'll need to change schools to qualify. And she says that's not ideal. But it will mean she doesn't have to pay upwards of twenty thousand dollars in loans. Now, I'm feeling really hopeful. Not only that she says she finally feels listened to for me as a teacher. It's awesome. Because then I can convey that to the students. Say, hey, you do have a voice you are citizens like you have a role in our government. The fix itself has had some problems. Many teachers have told NPR that some call center staff seemed unfamiliar with the new rules, and that the paperwork they're sent even after they got approved is really confusing advocates. Also were that the department won't do enough to reach out to teachers who need help Patrick well, and as an attorney at Public Citizen, litigation group there is relief available.