Kaine introduces bill to address teacher shortages in rural areas

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WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ7) U.S. Senator Tim Kaine has introduced a bill to address teacher shortages in rural areas.

Kaine says schools in rural Virginia and across the country are struggling to fill vacant jobs.

In a teleconference with Virginia reporters on Wednesday, Kaine said the Rural Educator Support and Training Act would provide incentives, including loan forgiveness.

If their student loans are too high, they may have to move somewhere else and take a better job, or a better-paying job," Kaine said. "Sometimes it's to another community where they will teach with higher teacher salaries or sometimes they leave the teacher profession altogether."

Kaine said The REST Act would provide scholarships to prospective teachers who commit to at least three years in a rural school.

Teachers who work in a rural school for at least five years could qualify for loan forgiveness, or funding to pay for national board certification.