Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 290
       By Senator Smith
       31-00177-16                                            2016290__
    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 and funding of the program; providing
    6         for student eligibility and the use of funds;
    7         providing for rulemaking; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Section 1009.641, Florida Statutes, is created
   12  to read:
   13         1009.641 STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.—
   14         (1) The STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, administered
   15  by the Department of Education, is established to encourage and
   16  incentivize qualified college graduates to remain in this state
   17  to teach STEM courses at a public school.
   18         (2) To be eligible, a candidate must meet all of the
   19  following criteria:
   20         (a) Be a graduate of a Florida public postsecondary
   21  education institution that offers 4-year degrees or teacher
   22  certifications.
   23         (b) Hold a valid Florida educator certificate under s.
   24  1012.56.
   25         (c) Be employed by a school district and assigned to teach
   26  a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) course
   27  at a public school in this state for 8 consecutive years.
   28         (3) The program may cover only those loans used to pay the
   29  costs of tuition, books, and living expenses.
   30         (4) The department may make a loan payment of up to $16,000
   31  on behalf of selected candidates from funds appropriated for the
   32  program. All payments are contingent upon proof of completion of
   33  program requirements and shall be made directly to the holder of
   34  the loan.
   35         (5) The department may recover from funds appropriated for
   36  the program the costs of administering the program.
   37         (6) The State Board of Education may adopt rules necessary
   38  to administer the program.
   39         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.