(a) Program participants shall meet all of the following eligibility criteria prior to selection in the program and shall continue to meet these criteria, as appropriate, during the payment periods:
(1) The applicant has completed at least 60 semester units, or the equivalent, and is enrolled in an academic program leading to a baccalaureate degree at an eligible institution, has agreed to participate in a teacher internship program, or has been admitted to a program of professional preparation that has been approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
(2) The applicant is currently enrolled in, or has been admitted to, a program in which he or she will be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, as determined by the participating institution. The applicant shall agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress and a minimum of half-time enrollment, as defined by the participating eligible institution.
(A) Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), if a person participating in the program fails to maintain at least half-time enrollment, as required by this article, under the terms of the agreement pursuant to paragraph (2), the loan assumption agreement shall be invalidated and the participant shall retain full liability for all student loan obligations. This subparagraph shall not apply if the participant is in his or her final semester or quarter in school and has no additional coursework required to obtain his or her teaching credential.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if a program participant is unable to maintain at least half-time enrollment due to serious illness, pregnancy, or other natural causes, or is called to active military duty status, the participant is not required to retain full liability for the student loan obligation for a period not to exceed one calendar year, unless approved by the commission for a longer period.
(C) If a natural disaster prevents a program participant from maintaining at least half-time enrollment due to the interruption of instruction at the eligible institution, the term of the loan assumption agreement shall be extended for a period not to exceed one calendar year, unless approved by the commission for a longer period.
(3) The applicant has been judged by his or her postsecondary institution, school district, or county office of education to have outstanding ability on the basis of criteria that may include, but need not be limited to, any of the following:
(A) Grade point average.
(B) Test scores.
(C) Faculty evaluations.
(E) Other recommendations.
(4) The applicant has received, or is approved to receive, a loan under one or more of the following designated loan programs:
(A) The Federal Family Education Loan Program (20 U.S.C. SEC. 1071 et seq.).
(B) Any educational loan program approved by the Student Aid Commission.
(5) The applicant has agreed to teach full time for at least four consecutive academic years, or on a part-time basis for the equivalent of four full-time academic years, after obtaining a teaching credential in a public elementary or secondary school in this state, in a subject area that is designated as a current or projected shortage area by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or, on the date the teacher is hired, at an eligible school.
(b) An agreement shall remain valid even if the subject area under which an applicant becomes eligible to enter into an agreement ceases to be a designated shortage field by the time the applicant becomes a teacher.
(c) For the purposes of calculating eligible years of teaching for the redemption of an award, the inclusion by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of a school on a list prepared pursuant to Section 69613.1 shall apply retroactively from the date the school first opened.
(d) A person participating in the program pursuant to this section shall not enter into more than one agreement.
(e) A person participating in the program pursuant to this section shall not owe a refund on any state or federal educational grant or have defaulted on any student loan.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a credentialed teacher teaching in a public school ranked in the lowest two deciles on the Academic Performance Index pursuant to Section 52052, possesses a clear multiple subject or single subject teaching credential or level II education specialist credential and who has not otherwise participated in the program established by this article, is eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption pursuant to this article. The number of loan assumption agreements provided pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed 400 per year. The commission shall develop and adopt regulations for the implementation of this subdivision by January 1, 2010.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 328, Sec. 53.)
20 USC 1071 et seq.
Education Code 52052
Education Code 69613.1