Guest Editorial (5/4/09)
Four years ago, I had just graduated from college and was working as a temp at a local company. I saw a program advertised by a state government-created corporation called The Student Loan People that said they would pay for me to get a teaching certificate if I agreed to work for five years as a math teacher. At the time, I had no college debt because I went through college on scholarship. I chose the offer of a teaching position in the Jefferson County Public Schools over a job at another company because I thought the program was safe.
Upon entering my program, I was assured by my financial aid officer and The Student Loan People customer service reps that I had no reason to doubt this program. However, I was right to worry because now the program is basically non-existent.
A lot of blame is going around about who took the money and where the funding for this program went. But there are many people like me who were offered a clear deal: Commit to five years of teaching and your student loan debt, held by The Student Loan People, will be completely forgiven.
The state needed us and recruited us using this program. Now the state has left me with a debt of almost one year of my salary after taxes. I personally know people who are out much more. And Kentucky House Bill 480, which is intended to help us, will only pay part of our loss, not all.
Kentucky should do more to help us -- not just give us a "sorry" and a hand shake.
I'm Mark Henderson and that's my...Point of View.