December 12, 2010; Source: KCRG-TV9 | The nonprofit Iowa Student Loan organization used to give first year Iowa teachers forgiveness on some portion of their student loans if they signed up to teach in certain subject areas. Now it is giving first-year students a $2,000 grant—sort of a “signing bonus” – if they agree to teach in “shortage areas.” which have been determined by the Iowa Department of Education to include math, science, ESL, music, agriculture, family and consumer science, foreign languages, industrial arts, and special ed. Apparently, Iowa school authorities expect a lot of retirements of older teachers in these subjects, so the targeted grants might help first-year teachers with their long list of financial needs. It sounds good to us. Is there a downside?—Rick Cohen
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