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. 8 9 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 10 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.