A bill that would allow full time teachers in Utah a $15,000 loan to buy a home cleared the House Education committee Tuesday.
Supporters, including the Utah Education Association and the State Board of Education, say the measure would help net quality teachers in the state while helping the state become more competitive in recruiting educators.
"If we want teachers to make that kind of long term investment in Utah we need to address this," said Vik Arnold, director of government relations for the UEA.
HB85 would allow teachers to use the loan to purchase a home and then borrowers would be required to pay interest on the loan only. Then the state would forgive $5,000 of the loan principal if the teacher teaches in a school district for five years and forgive the remaining amount of the principal.
If a teachers leaves the classroom early then they would be required to pay back the loan with interest.
"It's a good bill because it allows a teachers to come into state and start on a salary schedule that is traditionally quite low and motivates the teacher to stay in the profession and work up the salary schedule," said Kory Holdaway, R-Taylorsville.