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90_SB0660 110 ILCS 947/52 new Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act. Establishes the David A. DeBolt Teacher Shortage Scholarship Program to encourage academically talented students, especially minority students, to pursue teaching careers in teacher shortage disciplines. Provides for administration of the program by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Sets forth basic eligibility and priority or preference criteria for awarding scholarships under the program. Provides that each scholarship is to be in an amount sufficient to pay tuition, fees, and either room and board or commuter allowance costs, up to an annual maximum of $5,000. Limits recipients to 8 semesters or 12 quarters of scholarship assistance. Requires a recipient, before receiving scholarship assistance, to agree to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in a teacher shortage discipline for a period of not less than one year for each year of scholarship assistance awarded. Contains other related provisions. Effective immediately. LRB9002433THcd LRB9002433THcd 1 AN ACT to amend the Higher Education Student Assistance 2 Act by adding Section 52. 3 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 4 represented in the General Assembly: 5 Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act 6 is amended by adding Section 52 as follows: 7 (110 ILCS 947/52 new) 8 Sec. 52. David A. DeBolt Teacher Shortage Scholarship 9 Program. 10 (a) In order to encourage academically talented Illinois 11 students, especially minority students, to pursue teaching 12 careers in teacher shortage disciplines, the Commission 13 shall, each year, receive and consider applications for 14 scholarship assistance under this Section. An applicant is 15 eligible for a scholarship under this Section when the 16 Commission finds that the applicant is: 17 (1) a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen; 18 (2) a resident of Illinois; 19 (3) a high school graduate or a person who has 20 received a General Educational Development Certificate; 21 (4) enrolled or accepted for enrollment, on at 22 least a half-time basis at the sophomore level or above, 23 at an Illinois institution of higher learning; and 24 (5) pursuing a postsecondary course of study 25 leading to initial certification in a teacher shortage 26 discipline or pursuing additional course work needed to 27 gain State Board of Education approval to teach in an 28 approved specialized area in which a teacher shortage 29 exists. 30 (b) Recipients shall be selected from among applicants 31 qualified pursuant to subsection (a) based on a combination -2- LRB9002433THcd 1 of the following criteria as set forth by the Commission: (1) 2 academic excellence; (2) status as a minority student as 3 defined in Section 50; and (3) financial need. Preference 4 may be given to previous recipients of assistance under this 5 Section, provided they continue to maintain eligibility and 6 maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the 7 institution of higher learning at which they enroll. 8 (c) Each scholarship awarded under this Section shall be 9 in an amount sufficient to pay the tuition and fees and room 10 and board costs of the Illinois institution of higher 11 learning at which the recipient is enrolled, up to an annual 12 maximum of $5,000; except that in the case of a recipient who 13 does not reside on-campus at the institution of higher 14 learning at which he or she is enrolled, the amount of the 15 scholarship shall be sufficient to pay tuition and fee 16 expenses and a commuter allowance, up to an annual maximum of 17 $5,000. 18 (d) The total amount of scholarship assistance awarded 19 by the Commission under this Section to an individual in any 20 given fiscal year, when added to other financial assistance 21 awarded to that individual for that year, shall not exceed 22 the cost of attendance at the institution of higher learning 23 at which the student is enrolled. 24 (e) A recipient may receive up to 8 semesters or 12 25 quarters of scholarship assistance under this Section. 26 (f) All applications for scholarship assistance to be 27 awarded under this Section shall be made to the Commission in 28 a form as set forth by the Commission. The form of 29 application and the information required to be set forth 30 therein shall be determined by the Commission, and the 31 Commission shall require eligible applicants to submit with 32 their applications such supporting documents as the 33 Commission deems necessary. 34 (g) Subject to a separate appropriation made for such -3- LRB9002433THcd 1 purposes, payment of any scholarship awarded under this 2 Section shall be determined by the Commission. All 3 scholarship funds distributed in accordance with this Section 4 shall be paid to the institution on behalf of the recipients. 5 Scholarship funds are applicable toward 2 semesters or 3 6 quarters of enrollment within an academic year. 7 (h) The Commission shall administer the David A. DeBolt 8 Teacher Shortage Scholarship Program established by this 9 Section and shall make all necessary and proper rules not 10 inconsistent with this Section for its effective 11 implementation. 12 (i) Prior to receiving scholarship assistance for any 13 academic year, each recipient of a scholarship awarded under 14 this Section shall be required by the Commission to sign an 15 agreement under which the recipient pledges that, within the 16 5 year period following the termination of the academic 17 program for which the recipient was awarded a scholarship, 18 the recipient: (i) shall teach in a teacher shortage 19 discipline for a period of not less than one year for each 20 year of scholarship assistance awarded under this Section, 21 (ii) shall fulfill this teaching obligation at an Illinois 22 public preschool or elementary or secondary school, and (iii) 23 shall, upon request of the Commission, provide the Commission 24 with evidence that he or she is fulfilling or has fulfilled 25 the terms of the teaching agreement provided for in this 26 subsection. 27 (j) If a recipient of a scholarship awarded under this 28 Section fails to fulfill the teaching obligation set forth in 29 subsection (i) of this Section, the Commission shall require 30 the recipient to repay the amount of the scholarships 31 received, prorated according to the fraction of the teaching 32 obligation not completed, plus interest at a rate no greater 33 than the highest rate applicable for educational loans made 34 pursuant to Title IV, Part B of the Higher Education Act of -4- LRB9002433THcd 1 1965, as amended, and if applicable, reasonable collection 2 fees. The Commission is authorized to establish rules 3 relating to its collection activities for repayment of 4 scholarships under this Section. 5 (k) A recipient of a scholarship awarded by the 6 Commission under this Section shall not be in violation of 7 the agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (i) if the 8 recipient (i) enrolls on a full time basis as a graduate 9 student in a course of study related to the field of teaching 10 at an institution of higher learning; (ii) is serving as a 11 member of the armed services of the United States; (iii) is 12 temporarily totally disabled, as established by sworn 13 affidavit of a qualified physician; or (iv) is seeking and 14 unable to find full time employment as a teacher at a school 15 that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection (i) and 16 is able to provide evidence of that fact. Any such extension 17 of the period during which the teaching requirement must be 18 fulfilled shall be subject to limitations of duration as 19 established by the Commission. 20 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 21 becoming law.
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