The Biden administration announced a plan to extend tuition breaks to future teachers and do away with GPA requirements for grant recipients to increase access for students of color.
"The proposed plan also aims to increase the access that students from low-income backgrounds and students of color have to comprehensive teacher preparation,” a press release from the Education Department says.
The Department of Education oversees the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program, which administers tuition breaks to students studying to go into education so long as they agree to teach at schools in underperforming areas for at least four years.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced that the grant money given to third and fourth-year students annually will double to $8,000.
An additional $2.8 billion will be allocated to giving paid, year-long teacher residency programs, which the administration says will help attract “teacher candidates of color” and increase teacher retention. The change is “expected to increase the number of recipients by more than 50 percent to nearly 40,000 in 2022.”
"The AFP targets $400 million for teacher preparation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and minority-serving institutions and $900 million for the development of special education teachers," the press release continues.
Black students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities are statistically more likely to default on their student loans than black students who attend other colleges and universities, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Most graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities owe more in student loans 12 years after they graduate than they do immediately after graduating.
The new Biden administration rules do not require teachers to certify that they work in underserved schools after they graduate. In the past, graduates who failed to certify that they were working in underserved schools within 120 days would have their grants converted to unsubsidized loans, the press release explains.