Norton, Spartz Co-Lead the Consider Teachers Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-IN) today announced that they will be the co-leads of the Consider Teachers Act of 2021 (H.R. 2048). This bill would fix a broken system burdening teachers with unfair loans under the TEACH Grant program. On April 27, 2021, the Senate passed the companion bill (S. 848), introduced by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), by unanimous consent.
The TEACH Grant program provides grant assistance to students who serve four years as full-time teachers in high-need, often underserved communities. However, often due to basic clerical mistakes, thousands of teachers have found their grants converted into loans that must be paid back with interest. The Consider Teachers Act would fix this broken system permanently.
“I am pleased to co-lead with Congresswoman Spartz the Consider Teachers Act of 2021, which will ensure teachers are not burdened by unexpected debt,” Norton said. “The TEACH Grant program has unfairly converted many grants into loans because of small administrative errors. This bill will correct the administrative process,” said Norton.
“Good teachers are fundamental to our children’s education. As a former educator myself, I understand the importance of empowering our teachers to better prepare our students for the real world,” Spartz said. “I am happy to join Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in leading the Consider Teachers Act. This common-sense, bipartisan solution will provide more flexibility and efficiency within the TEACH Grant program, allowing for better utilization of these grant dollars by reducing government bureaucracy.”
"The TEACH grant is an important program to incentivize teachers to serve in neglected communities, but 12 years of poor government management has turned these grants into groans for thousands of teachers," said Senator Mike Braun. "This bill passing the Senate shows our appreciation for America's great teachers, and I am confident with Congresswoman Spartz and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton leading on this legislation in the House of Representatives we will fix this broken system once and for all."
“Arizona teachers receiving TEACH grants serve in low-income schools, helping Arizona students access quality educations across our state. The government made a promise to these teachers—and our commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures the government honors its obligation and protects our teachers from surprise bills,” said Sinema.