Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1156
       By Senator Smith
       31-01079A-15                                          20151156__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness
    3         Program; creating s. 1009.641, F.S.; creating the STEM
    4         Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program; providing for the
    5         administration and funding of the program; providing
    6         for student eligibility and the use of funds;
    7         providing for rulemaking; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Section 1009.641, Florida Statutes, is created
   12  to read:
   13         1009.641 STEM Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.—
   14         (1) To encourage and incentivize qualified college
   15  graduates to remain in the state and teach STEM courses at a
   16  public school, there is established the STEM Teacher Loan
   17  Forgiveness Program to be administered by the Department of
   18  Education.
   19         (2) To be eligible, a candidate must:
   20         (a) Be a graduate of a Florida public postsecondary
   21  education institution that offers 4-year degrees or teacher
   22  certifications.
   23         (b) Hold a valid Florida educator certificate under s.
   24  1012.56.
   25         (c) Be employed by a school district and assigned to teach
   26  a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) course
   27  at a public school in the state.
   28         (3) Only loans to pay the costs of tuition, books, and
   29  living expenses shall be covered under the program.
   30         (4) From funds appropriated for the program, the department
   31  may make a loan payment of up to $16,000 on behalf of selected
   32  candidates who complete 8 years of consecutive employment as a
   33  teacher of STEM courses at a public school in the state. All
   34  payments are contingent upon proof of completion of program
   35  requirements and shall be made directly to the holder of the
   36  loan.
   37         (5) The department may recover from funds appropriated for
   38  the program the costs of administering the program.
   39         (6) The State Board of Education may adopt rules necessary
   40  to administer the program.
   41         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.