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Early Childhood Education Is Designated a ‘Teacher Shortage’ Area in Nebraska

New changes in education regulations make it easier for aspiring teachers or teachers seeking endorsements in other areas to participate in two forgivable loan programs aimed at growing and retaining a high-quality teacher workforce in Nebraska. 

Administered by the Nebraska Department of Education, the Attracting Excellence in Teaching Program and the Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program offer opportunities for aspiring early childhood teachers or teachers endorsed in other areas to teach in the early childhood field.

The Attracting Excellence in Teaching Program provides forgivable loans to elligible students enrolled in a teacher education program working toward his/her initial certificate to teach in a shortage area in Nebraska, including the area of early childhood education. Eligible students may apply for an Attracting Excellence in Teaching Program loan of up to $3,000 for up to five consecutive years. Loan forgiveness begins after two years of full-time teaching, with increased forgiveness amounts if the recipient teaches in a school district classified as very sparse or in a school building in which at least 40% of the students meet high-poverty guidelines.

The Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program, aimed at helping teachers further their education, has been expanded to support existing teachers who want to earn an additional teaching endorsement in early childhood education or another teacher shortage area without having to get a Master’s degree. Eligible students may apply for an Enhanced Excellence in Teaching Program loan of up to $3,000 per year for up to five consecutive years. Loan forgiveness begins after three years of full-time teaching, with increased forgiveness amounts if the recipient teaches in a school district classified as very sparse or in a school building in which at least 40% of the students meet high-poverty guidelines.

Know someone who should apply? 

  • ​Individuals pursuing initial teacher certification: The 2016-2017 Attracting Excellence in Teaching Program award applications will be available September 19 in teacher education departments at Nebraska colleges and universities. Visit Nebraska Department of Education for more information.
  • Teachers pursuing an additional endorsement: The 2017-2018 Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program award applications will be available April 1, 2017, on the Nebraska Department of Education website.

 

First Five Nebraska estimates an additional 8,000 early childhood professionals providing the level of quality known to reduce the achievement gap are needed to serve the 64,000 Nebraska children ages 0-5 at risk of failing in school. Thank you for helping spread the word about opportunities to support our early childhood workforce. 

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