American Financial Benefits Center Discusses the Link Between Student Debt and the Nationwide Educator Shortage


Schools across the nation are struggling to fill primary and secondary educator positions, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In an effort to continue teaching core subjects, some states are even placing applicants with no formal training in teaching positions. A 2017 educator survey conducted by NPR suggested the trend has a multifaceted cause, with teaching pay, rising education costs and reliance on student loans named as some of the issues teachers face. In addition to the costs of education and the impact of debt, there are fewer entrants to teaching programs. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation service company, acknowledges that student debt can have a disproportionate impact on those in the education field.

“Student loan debt is a heavy weight for everyone to bear, regardless of their industry, but it’s especially burdensome for teachers,” said Sara Molina, manager of AFBC. “Their debt can be difficult to manage once they’ve graduated and are starting out in their first teaching job.”

Becoming a K-12 teacher has traditionally required a bachelor’s degree in education, along with a state certification. A report by the Learning Policy Institute says that even after adjusting for the shorter work year, starting salaries for teachers are 20 percent less than those with the same level of education who work in a different industry. They also found that the pay difference can be as much as 30 percent by their mid-career. According to the National Education Association, the national average public school starting teacher salary during 2016-2017 was $38,617. The average amount of debt racked up by those pursuing their four-year teaching degree? $52,596 according to Bankrate. In 2017, a Payscale report listed teaching jobs as one of the worst careers to have for paying back student loan debt. The NPR survey also found that teachers are often pressured to earn master’s degrees, which means more school — and potentially more debt.

Student loan debt is a heavy weight for everyone to bear, regardless of their industry, but it's especially burdensome for teachers. Their debt can be difficult to manage once they've graduated and are starting out in their first teaching job.

Sara Molina

Manager at AFBC

“It’s a bit of a catch-22,” mused Molina. “Base pay is low, and teachers can make a better living with a master’s degree. To get that, though, they often have to take on more debt, which can cancel out the extra money they’ll be making with that higher degree.”

AFBC suggests that income-driven repayment plans (IDRs) may be a good option for teachers who find themselves having trouble making their federal student loan payments. These plans recalculate affordable loan payments based on discretionary income and family size.

“Teachers are essential to every community,” Molina said. “Students with an interest in teaching shouldn’t be discouraged to enter the field or have to struggle after graduation. At AFBC, we’re proud to be able to assist them with services to apply for federal repayment programs which may better afford someone to  continue to do what they love and focus on educating our youth since such programs tend to have lower monthly repayment requirements.”

About Financial Education Benefits Center

Financial Education Benefits Center is located in San Ramon, California. The membership company has already helped thousands save money and obtain the necessary education required to live a financially healthy life.

Financial Education Benefits Center has partnered with several name brand third-party companies to expand the financial and educational products and services available to its members and to provide a variety of wellness services as well.

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To learn more about Financial Education Benefits Center, please contact:

Financial Education Benefits Center
2010 Crow Canyon Place Ste. 100
San Ramon, CA 94583

Source: American Financial Benefits Center

Categories: Financial News, Financing and Student Loans

Tags: career, educator, higher education, income-driven repayment, student debt, student loan repayment, student loans, teacher

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American Financial Benefits Center works to align each client with the different U.S Department of Education programs available to them based on their income and occupational situation.

American Financial Benefits Center
1900 Powell Street (600)
Emeryville, CA 94608
United States