Bill description: HB 185 would create a student loan repayment program for educators in rural districts with a teacher shortage.

Rating: -2

Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

HB 185 would establish a new program for giving more money to teachers and other education professionals. The funds, which are designated for repaying loans, would be available only to educators who work in rural, low-income districts with a teacher shortage. The program would provide teachers up to a total of $12,000 over four years.

This bill supports what are described as low-income, isolated rural school districts with teacher shortages at the expense of other urban districts.  


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

The fiscal note estimates that this program would cost state taxpayers $1,050,000 annually to implement. Of that, $1 million would go toward loan repayment programs, while $50,000 would go toward administrative costs. Last year, a similar proposal before the Legislature estimated the program would have a $1.5 million impact, even with a cap of 500 participants and $3,000 annual maximum payout for each teacher. This year, HB 185 would eliminate the cap of 500 participants, allowing the program to cost substantially more. Additionally, the program would provide increased loan repayment amounts for a teacher over time:  $1,500 for a first-year participant, $2,500 for a second-year participant, $3,500 for a third-year participant, and $4,500 for a fourth-year participant.