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FAQs for Teaching Fellows Service Payback

Browse the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to learn more about service payback. If your question is not addressed here, please contact us.

1. What positions fulfill the service obligation?
2. What if a) I have not taken the Praxis II exam, if required, by graduation as of May 2004? Or b) have taken the Praxis II exam but did not pass it?

3. Can I teach in a private school, community college, institution or higher education and receive credit for service?

4. Can I teach in a charter school?

5. Can I teach Head Start or More at Four?

6. Can I get credit for teaching in a "special school" such as one of the schools for the deaf or blind or schools for incarcerated youth?

7. How is my service affected if I teach in a "low performing or warning status school system?" (School system, not schools)

8. How much time must I teach in a school year to get credit for service?

9. Can I receive credit for a part-time teaching position?

10. Can I get an extension for payback now?

11. What happens if I cannot repay the entire loan balance through teaching service in the seven-year payback period?

12. What if I do not return my completed Employment Verification Form?


1. What positions fulfill the service obligation?

Promissory Note, Section 3: a licensed full-time teaching position or school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, speech pathologist, or media specialist. (First Note: all positions must be employees of the local board of education and may not be "contracted services." Second Note: these positions are the only positions that fulfill the service obligation. Third Note: Beginning with the Freshman Class of 2000, the Teaching Fellows Scholarship may only be used for preparation as a classroom teacher.)

2. What if a) I have not taken the Praxis II exam, if required, by graduation as of May 2004? Or b) have taken the Praxis II exam but did not pass it?

a. Promissory Note, Section 14: Failure to graduate without eligibility for license to teach is "cause" for default and the Commission can call in the loan immediately. North Carolina is still operating under policies that require the Praxis II exam for all grade levels.
b. One cannot achieve an initial license without passing Praxis II exams. Under current state law, graduates of in-state programs who have not passed Praxis II and who have been selected for employment by a local board of education may be issued a temporary permit for the school year during which the license is established. The permit may be extended for a second year of teaching provided the individual has at least taken Praxis II exams during the first year of teaching, but may not extend past June 2006. If the individual has not passed the Praxis II exams by the end of the second year of teaching, he/she MUST BE TERMINATED. A Fellow without a clear initial license is in default and will not receive teaching service credit. (This law may be repealed due to NCLB. See c.)
 
c. However, the federal No Child Left Behind law requires all new hires to have passed the Praxis II exam (if applicable to the license). A person who has not passed the Praxis II exam cannot be hired currently in a Title I school or in any school after June 30, 2006. Federal law supercedes state law.

3. Can I teach in a private school, community college, institution or higher education and receive credit for service?

Promissory Note, Section 3: No. Legislative intent and all references in applications and all other materials are FOR TEACHING IN K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

4. Can I teach in a charter school?

Promissory Note, Section 3 clearly states that service is to be fulfilled in "North Carolina's public schools." The Attorney General's office has advised that charter schools are "public schools." Fellows should be aware whether the charter school employees can participate in the state retirement system and medical plan. Under current law, charter school personnel can participate if the Board of the charter school has elected for its employees to do so.

5. Can I teach Head Start or More at Four?

Only if the program is based at a public school and the teachers are under contract with the school system as an ILT (Initially Licensed Teacher). Contact the Teaching Fellows office before signing the contract.

6. Can I get credit for teaching in a "special school" such as one of the schools for the deaf or blind or schools for incarcerated youth?

Policy 40.8 states that "Teaching Fellows graduates working as full-time teachers at schools under the Department of Health & Human Resources and schools under the Division of Youth Services, Office of Juvenile Justice are eligible for scholarship/loan forgiveness. In each case where students are served in lieu of the public schools, the Commission would determine 1) the population served through each individual program and 2) the governance of each individual program (i.e., relationship with the public school system.) This service cannot be “contracted service.” 

7. How is my service affected if I teach in a "low performing or warning status school system?" (School system, not schools)

The State Board of Education no longer designates such systems per the legislation. Therefore, all Teaching Fellows must complete four years of teaching service.

8. How much time must I teach in a school year to get credit for service?

Promissory Note, Section 3: "Each full school year" is defined as teaching or working in a position named in item (1) for not less than six full calendar months within one fiscal year. There are no exemptions to this requirement. Fellows should be mindful about beginning and ending dates of contracts. (Example: August 12 through February 12 or December 12 through June 12). No credit will be granted for fewer than six full calendar months of service. No more than one year of service credit will be given for each fiscal year July 1 through June 30, regardless of number of days worked.

9. Can I receive credit for a part-time teaching position?

No. Promissory Note, Section 3: This section states clearly, "Service as a tutor, substitute teacher, part-time teacher, lateral entry teacher or service in a nonpublic school may not be used to discharge any amount owing." Service as an administrator or consultant will NOT receive credit.

10. Can I get an extension for payback now?

You cannot ask for an extension until you have reached the point in your seven-year payback period when the extension is needed. Extensions are not automatic. The Teaching Fellows Commission must approve them. Only Fellows who have teaching service credit are eligible for extensions. Extensions are not considered immediately upon graduation and will not be granted for extended military service or extended graduate/doctoral work immediately following graduation.

The Commission anticipates that most Fellows will be teaching immediately following graduation, unless in one of the related areas listed in item (1) above which requires a Master’s Degree or secondary students at UNC-Chapel who are required to attend a M.A.T. program after undergraduate graduation. Extension of the payback period will be considered under the following condition.

Promissory Note, Section 5: The Commission considers applications for the extension of forgiveness period prior to the academic year when the Fellow cannot repay the entire loan in teaching service. The Fellow should submit a formal application for an extension by May 31, preceding the academic year in which the extension is needed. The request will be considered at the June Commission meeting. The reasons an extension may be given are: (1) the Fellow is enrolled as a full-time graduate student in post-graduate studies related to teaching, This does not include post-graduate studies in law, engineering, pharmacy, medicine, nor doctoral studies in any field. (2) The Fellow is on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or (3) circumstances that the Commission determines warrant an extension. Only Fellows intending to repay in teaching service are eligible for extensions.

11. What happens if I cannot repay the entire loan balance through teaching service in the seven-year payback period?

Policy 20.5 When the entire loan balance cannot be repaid through teaching service in the seven-year payback period, the Fellows graduate shall receive notice formally beginning the collection process for the entire amount of principal balance with interest.

* If the Fellow is not teaching in the fourth year and has no previous teaching service credit, the entire loan balance will be due.

* If, after collection begins and there is time left in the seven year payback period, the Fellow secures a full-time teaching position as a fully licensed teacher under the terms of the Promissory Note, he/she may appeal to the Commission to be reinstated and permitted to repay the remainder of the debt in teaching service. If approved, no refund shall be given for monies already paid in collection.

* There are two options to repay monetarily:

1. If payment of the balance in full is made within 30 days from the date of the schedule notice, there is no interest.
2. After 30 days, payments with 10% interest per annum, will be due monthly for 84 months. The loan collection will be conducted by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA). The first payment will be due 180 days from the date on the repayment notice.

12. What if I do not return my completed Employment Verification Form?

Failure to return your completed Employment Verification Form by the designated date is considered a cause for default and places your loan in jeopardy of collection.

 

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