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Board Report #00-1

Finding of Emergency for
the Minority Teacher Loan Program

 

FINDING OF EMERGENCY

The Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) finds that an emergency exists and that the attached rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. A statement of the facts constituting the emergency is:

The 1989 Wisconsin Act 31 created s. 39.40, Stats., which provides for loans to minority students enrolled in programs of study leading to licensure as a teacher. The Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) administers this loan program under s. 39.40 and under ch. HEA 11. Current rules require that a student be enrolled full time and show financial need to be considered for participation in the Minority Teacher Loan Program. Students who did not enroll full time and did not show financial need were allowed to participate in the program in the past when part of the program was administered by another administrative body. These students are enrolled in teacher education programs that train teachers specifically for the school districts named in the statutes that outline the intent of the Minority Teacher Loan Program. Unless the Board changes its rules, many participating students will lose their eligibility in the program. This will cause a hardship to those students who relied on the interpretation of the prior system administration. Revising the rules would allow students who participated in the program in the past to continue to participate. The proposed revision will not affect expenditures of State funds for the Minority Teacher Loan Program.

Background:

When the Minority Teacher Loan Program was first established in 1989 HEAB administered the program for students who enrolled at private Wisconsin colleges and universities in programs of study leading to licensure as a teacher. The University of Wisconsin System Administration administered the program for students who attended schools within the University of Wisconsin System. In 1996 the University of Wisconsin program was merged with HEAB's and from that point on HEAB administered the combined program for students attending either private Wisconsin colleges and universities or University of Wisconsin schools.

Prior to the merging of the two programs HEAB developed administrative rules which incorporated requirements that the student must be enrolled full-time and that the student must show financial need. During the time the University of Wisconsin System Administration administered their portion of the program, rules further defining the program were not developed by System Administration.

During the 1998-99 academic year it came to HEAB's attention that one of the University of Wisconsin schools that participates in the program, was not under the understanding that HEAB's administrative rules applied to their program participants. Specifically, there are two education programs at this university in which students either do not enroll full-time or they do not necessarily show financial need who are not currently eligible for program participation per administrative rules. This university thought that these students were eligible. These same students would have been eligible prior to the 1996 merging when the University of Wisconsin System Administration administered the program for University of Wisconsin schools. This, again, is due to the fact that System Administration had not yet developed administrative rules to further define the program where HEAB had.

Unless the Board changes its rules, many participating students will lose their eligibility in the program. This will cause a hardship to those students who relied on the interpretation of the prior system administration.

The statute indicates that the loan is to be awarded to students who agree to teach in school districts like the one these two education programs serve. The primary focus of the two education programs offered by this university is to provide qualified teachers specifically for one of the school districts identified in the statute, which outlines the Minority Teacher Loan Program. The recently established Teacher Education Loan Program, which HEAB also administers, does not require full time status or that the student show financial need. The Teacher Education Loan is very similar to the Minority Teacher Loan in that its primary focus is to provide qualified teachers for a similar school district.

Statutory Authority: Section 39.28 (1), Stat., as created by 1971 c. 125, and section 227.11 (2), Stats.

Section HEA 11.03 is amended to read:

Effective Date: These rules shall take effect upon publication as provided in s. 227.24 (d) Stats.

 

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