"This legislation will provide Alaska school districts with a tool to help to attract and keep qualified public school teachers."
- Sen. Wilken
An Act relating to the teachers' housing loan program in the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation; and providing for an effective date.
Senate Bill 25 establishes a housing loan program within the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) for teachers, counselors, and administrators who are required to be certificated. The new teacher-housing loan offered through AHFC permits a qualified applicant to purchase an owner-occupied home without paying a conventional down payment.
This legislation will provide Alaska school districts with a tool to help to attract and keep qualified public school teachers. The recruitment and retention of a qualified workforce is paramount to the operation of a successful K-12 educational program. Unfortunately many school districts are experiencing a shortage of experienced, talented teachers and spend thousands of dollars to recruit the necessary educators. The proposed new housing loan program provides an incentive for trained teachers, counselors, and administrators to enter into the profession and settle down in local communities.
Senate Bill 25 addresses one of the concerns highlighted in the October 2001 Committee Report on the Statewide Teacher Shortage by the House Special Committee on Education. As indicated in this report, the high cost of purchasing a home or, in some areas of the state, the lack of available teacher housing is a frequent reason for teachers to leave the profession. Senate Bill 25 recognizes this concern and helps facilitate educators to obtain the necessary financing to purchase a home by eliminating the requirement of a down payment. Senate Bill 25 makes a small, but positive step, towards ensuring that Alaska school districts have the best, stable workforce possible.
Please join me in endorsing and passing Senate Bill 25.