The Oregon School District has taken a step to combat a shortage of teachers by implementing a program to attract and keep them.
A recent study by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools found the teacher shortage in Illinois has reached crisis levels.
The district is looking to change the state-wide trend by debuting the Teacher Loan Payoff Program, which will aid qualifying district teachers to pay off their student loans.
To kick-off the first year of the program, OCUSD is asking for the community’s help recruiting and retaining district teachers by making a donation toward the $10,000 goal.
The district hopes to meet the goal in 30 days starting March 4.
“Our goal for the district is to attract and retain good teachers,” Superintendent Tom Mahoney said. “Donations made to the Teacher Loan Payoff Program are guaranteeing teachers stay in Oregon to continue teaching and aiding in the growth of our community.”
Three local companies have already made sizable donations to the fundraiser, including F.N. Smith Corporation, Central Bank, and Harvard Bank.
If the community raises $10,000, a local foundation will match that amount, totaling $20,000 to be awarded to Oregon teachers.
The Teacher Loan Payoff Program provides up to $20,000 each year to help qualifying Oregon district teachers pay off their student loan debt.
Teachers who have been with the district for five or more years are eligible to receive up to $5,000 each.
The district is asking for the community’s help in reaching its $10,000 goal. Donations are tax-deductible.
Those interested in making a donation may do so via the OCUSD website or by mailing a check. Cash donations can also be hand-delivered at the district office.