Sen. Dave Koehler

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler is leading a measure to prorate debts of students who are recipients of scholarship programs who need to fulfil their obligations at a later time.

“There are many instances where students have to take a leave of absence or cannot complete their education when they originally planned,” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “Students who are pursuing an education degree shouldn’t have to pay more if they fulfill their teaching obligations at a later time.”

House Bill 3498 would allow a recipient of either the Minority Teachers of Illinois, Special Education Teacher Waiver or the Golden Apple Scholar of Illinois to have their debt prorated for completing their teaching obligations at a later time, up to a five year window.

“We have many students who have jobs and responsibilities that can take their time away from the classroom,” said Koehler. “We shouldn’t be punishing these students for trying to accomplish their goals – we should be giving them the opportunities they need to succeed.”

House Bill 3498 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.