Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 793 into law this afternoon at Rice Lake Area School District. The WASB worked with Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake) to develop this legislation as a way to help rural school districts attract and retain teachers.
“Every child in the state of Wisconsin deserves access to a great education, regardless of their zip code,” Governor Walker said. “The legislation we’re signing here today at Rice Lake Area School District helps us attract and keep great teachers in rural areas of our state, where it’s often difficult to recruit and retain educators. Assembly Bill 793 expands the teacher loan program currently in place for Milwaukee to include rural communities as well, and encourages new teachers to take jobs in these areas by forgiving their student debt.”
Assembly Bill 793 – changes the teacher loan program to include loan forgiveness for teachers employed in school districts in rural counties. Under current law, the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) administers a teacher loan program for teachers in the city of Milwaukee, so long as they are employed as a full-time elementary or secondary school teacher in a high-demand, teacher shortage field, and receives a teacher rating of proficient or distinguished. This bill provides loan forgiveness under the teacher loan program for teachers employed in school districts in rural counties, in addition to those employed in the city of Milwaukee. Authored by Rep. Quinn and Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills), the bill passed the Assembly with a vote of 94-0 and was concurred by the Senate with a vote of 31-1. It is Act 359.