1997 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Simmons, Carlton, Blackmon, Johnson (38th), Jordan (24th), Walls, Furniss, Nunnelee
Senate Bill 2559
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE "THREE-FOR-THREE TEACHER RELOCATION PROGRAM"; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MAKE ANNUAL GRANTS TO CERTIFICATED TEACHERS WHO RELOCATE IN ORDER TO TEACH IN A CRITICAL TEACHER SHORTAGE GEOGRAPHIC SECTION OF THE STATE; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN CONDITIONS ON RECEIPT OF THE GRANT AND PENALTIES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO PROMULGATE REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature finds that there exists a critical shortage of teachers in many areas and communities in Mississippi. It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Legislature to attract and retain qualified teachers by awarding incentive relocation grants to certificated teachers declaring an intention to serve in a critical teacher shortage geographic section of the state and who actually teach in such geographic area.
(2) There is hereby established the "Three-for-Three Teacher Relocation Program."
(3) To the extent of appropriations available, certificated teachers who have expressed in writing a present intention to teach in a critical teacher shortage geographic section of the state, as designated on an annual basis by the State Board of Education, shall be eligible for an annual relocation grant of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) for each of three (3) years. To be eligible to receive the annual grant, recipients shall be required to teach in a school located in such critical teacher shortage geographic area for at least seventy-eight (78) school days during each of the two (2) school semesters immediately after the receipt of the grant. No recipient shall receive more than Nine Thousand Dollars ($9,000.00) in the aggregate from this program.
(4) Persons failing to meet teaching requirements in any required semester shall immediately be in breach of contract and become liable to the State Board of Education for the amount of the annual grant received for the current year, with interest accruing at the current Stafford Loan rate at the time the breach occurs, except in the case of a deferral of debt for cause by the board, after which period of deferral, teaching duties required hereunder will be resumed. If the claim for repayment of such grant is placed in the hands of an attorney for collection after default, then the obligor shall be liable for an additional amount equal to a reasonable attorney's fee.
(5) Failure to repay any grant and interest that becomes due shall be cause for the revocation of a person's teaching certificate by the State Department of Education.
(6) All monies repaid to the State Board of Education hereunder shall be added to the appropriations made for purposes of this section, and said appropriations shall not lapse.
(7) The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations necessary for the proper administration of this section.
(8) If insufficient funds are available for requested grants to qualified applicants during any fiscal year, priority consideration shall be given to persons receiving previous grants and participating in the program.
(9) The State Board of Education shall make an annual report to the Legislature enumerating the relocation grants awarded, the names of persons to whom granted and the teaching location of applicants.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.