By Chris Arnold and Cory Turner
It’s a financial nightmare for public school teachers across the country: Federal grants they received to work in low-income schools were converted to thousands of dollars in loans that they now must pay back.
NPR revealed these problems in a series of recent stories. The Department of Education now tells NPR that it has launched a new “top-to-bottom” internal review of all aspects of the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program. Officials say that the review is aimed at fixing the issues and that the department is “absolutely committed to improving” the program.
“It’s ridiculous; it’s mind-boggling,” says Kaitlyn McCollum, a high school teacher in Columbia, Tenn., who is among the potentially thousands of teachers who met the teaching requirements for these grants but nevertheless were saddled with debt for money they never borrowed. “It’s been two years of torture.”