$100 a month? State offering cash for teachers in struggling schools

Want to save $100 a month or more? On Tuesday, the state of Connecticut began offering deep incentives for teachers willing to work in struggling school districts.
The new Alliance District Teacher Loan Subsidy Program lets teachers refinance up to $25,000 of their student loans – at interest rates as low as 0.75%. The catch? You have to work in one of the state’s lowest-performing school systems, known as “Alliance Districts.” In western Connecticut, a dozen districts qualify, including Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Stratford and Danbury.
"You have school districts that have an excessive amount of resources next door to school districts that have lesser,” said Connecticut Education Association president Kate Dias. "Programs like this allow all districts to have a level, or at least a little more competitive, playing field.”
Teachers who qualify can refinance their loans through CHESLA, the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority. With $7 million budgeted for the program, at least 280 teachers can apply.
"If you've got one of those old double-digit loans, get it refinanced with CHESLA now,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Interest rates are not going down; they're going up."
Lamont also hopes to attract more minority teachers. According to the Connecticut Department of Education, almost 90% of educators are white.
"I'm a teacher because I saw a Black man teach me when I was in fifth grade,” said state Sen. Doug McCrory (D-Hartford). “That doesn't happen in Connecticut often."