Florida Senate - 2016              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. SB 290
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Education)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness
    3         Program; creating s. 1009.641, F.S.; creating the STEM
    4         Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program; providing for the
    5         administration of the program; providing for teacher
    6         eligibility; specifying the type of loans the program
    7         covers; authorizing the Department of Education to
    8         make specified loan repayments; authorizing the
    9         department to use up to a specified percentage of
   10         available funds to administer the program; providing
   11         for implementation and rulemaking; providing an
   12         effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 1009.641, Florida Statutes, is created
   17  to read:
   18         1009.641 STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.—
   19         (1) The STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, administered
   20  by the Department of Education, is established to encourage and
   21  incentivize qualified Florida college graduates to remain in
   22  this state to teach STEM courses at a public school.
   23         (2) To be eligible to participate in this program, a
   24  teacher must meet all of the following criteria:
   25         (a) Receive a baccalaureate or graduate degree from a
   26  Florida public postsecondary education institution.
   27         (b) Hold a valid Florida educator’s certificate under s.
   28  1012.56.
   29         (c) Be employed by a public school district and assigned to
   30  teach a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM)
   31  course at a public school in this state for 8 consecutive years.
   32         (d) Not receive student loan repayment assistance from any
   33  other state, local, or federal program or private fund.
   34         (3) The program may cover only those loans received by
   35  students from federal programs or commercial lending
   36  institutions for the support of the study of education at a
   37  postsecondary education institution.
   38         (4) The department may make loan repayments, which shall be
   39  prorated based on available appropriations, of up to $4,000 a
   40  year for up to 4 years on behalf of teachers who meet the
   41  eligibility requirements under subsection (2). All loan
   42  repayments shall be made directly to the holder of the loan and
   43  shall be contingent on proof of continued employment by a public
   44  school district and of continued assignment to teach a STEM
   45  course.
   46         (5) The department may use only up to 1 percent of the
   47  funds appropriated for the program to administer this section,
   48  unless the General Appropriations Act authorizes a different
   49  amount for such purpose.
   50         (6)This section shall be implemented only as specifically
   51  funded.
   52         (7) The State Board of Education may adopt rules to
   53  administer the program.
   54         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.