In 2018, the Howard County Delegation in the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1180. This state-enabling legislation granted authority to the county to create a Student Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Teachers. Introduced by Howard County Executive Ball, Council Bill 14 would formally establish the program.
What is the timeline for this program?
This bill was first introduced to the County Council on May 1st and will be heard at the County Council for a Legislative Public Hearing on May 15th. The Board of Education will vote to support the measure at their May 11th meeting. If approved by the County Council, the first application period will open in the Spring of 2024, with the first award distribution occurring during the Summer of 2024.*
Who is eligible?
Specific parameters for eligibility were determined by the State legislation and will further be established in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the County Executive in collaboration with HCPSS. At a minimum, eligible teachers must have:
- Received a graduate, professional, or undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university;
- Obtained employment as a full-time teacher in HCPSS;
- Committed to teach in HCPSS for at least five years or have already taught in HCPSS for at least five years;
- and Are not in default on any student loan.**
How do I apply?
The application period and guidelines will be developed after final passage of the bill.
Where can I see the proposed legislation?
The bill can be viewed on the county council website here.
How much funding is dedicated to this program?
As currently proposed, the total funding for this program is $1.5 million. The program is currently slated to run for five years, with $300K allocated each fiscal year.
What are the next steps?
- The County Executive and HCPSS will enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to govern this program. The MOU will contain the specific eligibility parameters, application period, award period, methods of distribution, review processes, and required documentation. *
- Following passage by the county council and the MOU signage, the application period will open, and eligible educators will receive grants by the Summer of 2024.
*Dependent on passage by the County Council
**The legislation permits additional criteria to be added at the discretion of the Administration under the parameters set in the legislation