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December 9, 2019

Using teacher loan forgiveness to attract a stronger, more diverse workforce

Graduating seniors react during Commencement ceremonies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S., May 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RC1F1F41DBB0

Summary

Teachers in the U.S. are among the lowest paid professionals compared to other developed countries, and declining interest in teaching among young people is a worrying trend. The increasing costs of higher education and mounting student loan debt are also factors are deterring young people from becoming teachers. Michael Hansen and Li Feng propose a federal loan forgiveness program for teachers and other educators while they are teaching, with priority given to undergraduate debt and filling vacancies in high-need schools.